I love a good French Onion Soup. It’s a hearty, satisfying meal on its own. Making it from scratch, starting with a homemade beef broth makes this a two day labor of love. The secret to an excellent onion soup is time. You need to sauté the onions low and slow until they are very well caramelized. This can take up to an hour so be patient. This time I used 3 types of onions, red, yellow and white. When serving for the first night I always do the traditional crouton and Swiss cheese topping. It is a terrific hearty yet light meal.
French Onion Soup
- 6 cups onions sliced very thin
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 cup dry wine – red or white
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 – 2 Tbs flour
- 4 – 8 cups beef stock
- 2 – 3 Tbs brandy (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
- Slices of stale baquette or other French bread.
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup gruyere or other swiss cheese – grated
Saute onions in butter and oil on med high heat until beginning to soften, about 6-8 min. Add ½ of the wine, reduce heat, cover and cook low and slow stirring occasionally until onions have reduced in volume and are golden, about 20 min or up to 45 minutes depending on amount of onions.
Take off the lid, raise heat and add 1 tsp of sugar. Cook for about 10 min or more until the onions are a deep golden brown. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 – 2 tablespoons of flour over the onions, cook 2 -3 minutes. Deglaze with remaining wine and add warm beef stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer soup for 10-15 min. If using brandy, add just at the end of cooking before assembly.
Meanwhile, prepare the croutons. Slice bread, toast under broiler until lightly toasted on both sides. Rub each slice with the cut side of the raw garlic. Set aside.
Ladle soup into bowls, float a piece or pieces of the toasted bread into the bowl, top generously with the grated cheese. Broil until cheese begins to brown and is bubbly.