There's just something about French onion soup -- savory with a hint of sweetness in the rich broth, topped with crunchy croutons and melty cheese browned under the broiler. This deli staple is remarkably easy to whip up with simple ingredients, and our version adds lentils for a heartier meal -- but you can always leave them out if you're not a lentil fan.
This recipe is also extra versatile for restrictive diets. Substitute gluten free flour and skip the bread to make the whole dish gluten free. Substitute coconut oil for butter and omit the cheese to make this vegan. Use vegetable or beef broth per your preferences!
This recipe makes two 16oz (bowl) servings or four 8oz (cup) servings.
French Onion & Lentil Soup Ingredients
3 Yellow Onions
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup brown lentils
4 cups broth
1/4 cup red wine
2 Tbsp Seattle Garlic seasoning (included in our 2020 Garlic Kit)
1 tsp Leaf Beef (included in our 2020 Vegan Kit)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup of croutons*
1 cup of grated white cheeses (we used swiss, Gruyere, and parmesan)
How to Make French Onion & Lentil Soup
1. Cut your onions and shallot in half from root to tip, then slice into 1/8-1/4" half moon slices.
2. Sauté onions and shallot in butter until just beginning to caramelize, then add red wine (optional). Cook the alcohol off for about 2-3 minutes, then whisk in flour. Stir continuously for about two minutes, until your roux (the butter, wine, and flour mixture) is cooked and has darkened slightly.
3. Add 1/2 cup of broth and whisk until fully combined. Allow the mixture to come up to temperature and thicken, then add another 1/2 cup and repeat until all of the broth is incoporated. The mixture will be a little thin until it comes to a boil.
4. Add lentils and keep at a simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add Leaf Beef, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
5. Portion the soup into oven-safe serving vessels arranged on a baking sheet. Gently float the croutons in a single layer on top of the soup, then sprinkle generously with cheese. Place under your broiler for 2-4 minutes, when the cheese is fully melted and lightly browned on top. Serve immediately and caution guests that the dish will be very hot!
* No croutons handy? No problem! Cut up some cubes of bread and toss in olive oil, salt and pepper, then bake at 375°F until golden and crunchy (about 15 minutes).