When I was a kid, our culinary adventures were not particularly, well, adventurous. We ate a lot of pot roasts and broccoli cheese soup and spaghetti. Don’t get me wrong–it was good, and seriously, now that I’m a mom, I have nothing but crazy admiration for the fact that my mom had tasty, well-balanced meals on the table every night and still managed to juggle her 5 kids’ (the oldest of whom was 16 years older than the youngest) extracurricular and social activities without causing us (or herself) physical or emotional harm. That said, I remember the first time I had an artichoke with lemon butter so clearly I can still taste it. It was so out of the norm for me, so totally off my radar and so incredibly delicious. Same thing with French onion soup. It was, I guess, one of those foods that made me fall in love with food.
So, you know, I totally don’t have a recipe for French onion soup. I think that subconsciously, it’s special occasion food, and I’m afraid if I make it myself, it won’t be special anymore. Or something. I totally took Psychology 101 my first semester of college, so I’m qualified to make these kinds of assessments about myself.
That said, I do love to make dips. And I love melty cheese. And caramelized onions. And it’s a rainy, blustery day outside, perfect for comfort food. So even if I haven’t ventured down the dark path of making French onion soup, a dip inspired by it is a totally different beast, right?
You’re going to need a batch of these caramelized onions (with a few cloves of garlic thrown in for good measure), 2 8-ounce packages of softened cream cheese, 1 cup of sour cream (or mayonnaise, if you prefer, or half sour cream and half mayo), freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and freshly grated Gruyere (or Swiss, if Gruyere isn’t happening. Keep in mind that Gruyere is milder and usually melts more smoothly).
Preheat oven to 425.
Place the cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan, Gruyere, and caramelized onions in a pie plate or an 8×8″ pan.
Gently stir to combine.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden on top and hot in the middle. Serve immediately with sliced baguette, pieces of sourdough bread, tortilla chips, or potato chips.
Hot & Cheesy French Onion Dip
Recipe by Our Best Bites
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sour cream (or mayonnaise, or half sour cream and half mayonnaise)
2 medium-large sweet onions
6-8 cloves garlic
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
heaping 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
heaping 1/2 cup grated Gruyere or mild swiss cheese
Caramelize the onions according to these directions. In the last 5 minutes or so, add the garlic, stirring frequently to prevent the garlic from scorching.
Preheat oven to 425.
In a pie plate or an 8×8″ pan, combine the cream cheese, Parmesan, Gruyere, and the caramelized onions. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden on top and hot in the middle. Serve immediately with sliced baguette, pieces of sourdough bread, tortilla chips, or potato chips.