This recipe from Bon Appetit had been calling my name.
I forget where I saw it first -- but I think it was in some kind of roundup, like “best soups of the year” or “most-made recipes from 2020″ that I just so happened to see around the new year. Then, it just kept popping up. At one point, I took a screenshot of it, in an attempt not to forget, and then one particularly cold and dreary weekend mid-month, it finally felt right. The stars aligned and my husband and I decided to make it.
Err, full disclosure, he’s the real chef in our house and he did about 99% of the work. But I was along for the ride, so let’s talk about it, shall we?
First of all, here’s that recipe: French onion beef noodle soup from Bon Appetit
And the description from the website: “This super-savory dish draws its inspiration from Taiwanese beef noodle soup, then gilds the lily with a Dutch oven’s worth of sweet, slow-simmered onions—the best part of French onion soup, if you ask this recipe’s developer, Amiel Stanek. It takes some doing, but the effort is worth it.”
Spot on, tbh.
Yes yes yes, YES this was a win. It lived up to the hype (that I created in my head!) and I’m so happy we went for it.
Want some notes?
Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of making this:
- Prepare to go grocery shopping. Earlier this month, I told you about a parmesan minestrone that you could basically make out of whatever you had lying around in your pantry or veggie drawer. This ... is the opposite of that. We are food people -- we love cooking, going out to eat when there’s not a pandemic underway, and preparing food. I’d like to think we keep a very well-stocked cupboard with a wide variety of items. Still, we were scrambling to the store for ingredients like star anise pods, coriander seeds and nearly two pounds of beef short ribs.
- We halved the recipe. And it still made a tonnnn of soup! I don’t think we finished the leftovers, but we gave it our best shot.
- Between the chopping and the simmering and all the work involved, this took a big chunk of our day to prepare. It wasn’t all hands-on work, but it’s a bit more commitment than your typical weeknight dinner. Make it a fun weekend project!
- Our kids -- who are newly 5 and 3 -- did eat it (and seemed to like it enough!), but I did take the noodles and beef out of the broth, and I cut it up more like a chow mein-type situation. I’m all about easy access, and I think they would have struggled, considering this is more like a slurpy ramen dish than a traditional soup.
- Don’t skip the scallions on top! They were so light and fresh, and provided just the crunch I was needing. They’re definitely a texture thing, but the taste is spot on, as well.
I can’t tell if this is crazy, but next time, I’d consider just making the broth. The soup was so much work, and maybe I’d consider asking my husband to make it again if I was hosting girls night in, but I can imagine us using the broth as a jumping-off point for so many other delicious things. I almost want to make more now, just to store in the freezer, like a homemade broth. It was exquisite -- rich and deep and perfectly salty and satisfying. James and I discussed it in the following days, and we couldn’t get enough.
Anyway, we followed this one to a T, so I don’t have any modifications to pass along! I know it’s been colder than usual in all kind of places lately, so if you’re looking to warm the soul a bit, give this recipe a shot! It’s most definitely worth your time and hard work.
What should we make next? Have a recipe you’d like me to try before you tackle it? Email me anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org. We eat everything except black olives (OK, that’s just me).
See you next time for more soup reviews!