Do you like soup? What is your favorite? There are soups full of meat and veggies that are like a meal in a bowl. There are thick and creamy soups loaded with milk and cheese. Some soups have chunks of chicken or beef in a tasty broth. Most important is that the soup be full of flavor. It is good to have a few favorite soup recipes in your repertoire. French Onion Soup is one of mine.
I am a really big fan of soup. I like it when it is chilly outside to warm me up but I enjoy it year round too. We are having a few days of heavy rain and gusty wind. When I noticed a bag of onions in my pantry I remembered a favorite soup I haven’t made for a while. It is a soup in a rich beef broth with slow-cooked, caramelized onions.
French Onion Soup
- 2 lb medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (rosemary is good too)
- 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup dry white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
- 4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth (32 fl oz)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices of baguette
- 1 (1/2-lb) piece Gruyère, Comte, or Emmental (or cheese of choice in quantity desired)
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 (8- to 10-oz) flameproof soup crocks or ramekins
Cook onions, thyme, bay leaves, and salt in butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in broth, water, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
While soup simmers, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Arrange bread in 1 layer on a large baking sheet and toast, turning over once, until completely dry, about 15 minutes. (I sliced baguette, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and toasted in a toaster oven)
Remove croûtes from oven and preheat broiler. Put crocks in a shallow baking pan.
Discard bay leaves and thyme from soup and divide soup among crocks, then float a croûte in each. Slice enough Gruyère (about 6 ounces total) with cheese plane to cover tops of crocks, allowing ends of cheese to hang over rims of crocks, then sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.
Depending on the serving size, we had enough for a large bowl for dinner and more for a couple of smaller lunch servings.
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