When it comes to French onion soup, it turns out the soup part is just a suggestion. Recently, the dish's cozy base of caramelized onions and melty, bubbly Gruyère cheese has been popping up in recipes that don't call for a spoon or a lionhead bowl. From decadent grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese to panade, casseroles, tarts, and dips, just about anything can be French onion'd, so long as it's comforting. It's no wonder that potatoes — whose serotonin-boosting properties appear to literally have the power to make us happier, according to Sleep Apnea Dentists of New England — fit the bill, too.
If you're already privy to the flavorful and creamy delight that is French onion mashed potatoes, you probably don't need convincing to bust out some spuds the next time you're craving French onion soup. Their fortified starchiness makes them the perfect vessel for cheese and other rich ingredients. When you don't feel like mashing, here are some other ways to French onion-ify your potatoes.
Read more: French Cooking Tricks You Need In Your Life
Hold The Soup
If time (or a desire to put in minimal effort) is a factor, one of the easiest ways to add French onion soup flare to your potatoes is by baking them in foil. Instead of topping your Russets with the usual fixings of sour cream, shredded cheddar, bacon bits, and chives, level up with generous helpings of caramelized onions under shredded Gruyère and a little fresh thyme. Stick them under the broiler until the cheese reaches a golden-brown hue, then tuck in.
For a slightly more involved version that evokes the flavors of the classic dish even further, make a soup base by adding flour, wine, and beef broth to your caramelized onions. When the mixture has thickened, spoon it into split baked potatoes, top with Gruyère, and broil. The soup base will soak into the potato, saving you from dry bites. If you prefer your potatoes cubed, simply bake them as you normally would and add the soup base and cheese for the last few minutes.
Double The French
French onion baked potatoes make for a great weeknight treat, but when an even more showstopping side is in order, double up on the Frenchness of it all with a take on potatoes au gratin. The dish comes in different shapes and sizes, but when a French onion soup base is involved, it might be easiest to opt for a layered version, such as potato dauphinoise. The luxurious dish is made with thinly sliced Yukon Gold potatoes layered with garlic-y heavy cream and herbs and topped with plenty of Gruyère, which forms a burnished top over the casserole.
Rather than using cream sauce, spread a layer of French onion soup base over each layer of sliced potatoes, along with a sprinkling of Gruyère, saving the biggest heap of cheese for the top layer. Serve it as a side or as a starchy main with a green salad to balance out the richness.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.