French Onion Soup
My house was overrun by onions and it was time to do something. Something radical, like make an entire meal out of basically just onions. French onion soup time!
I adapted a recipe from Rachel Ray to get the job done. Why? Because she speaks the language of simple and savory–that’s my style.
- 6 medium onions
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups beef stock (32 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 baguette, ends trimmed, sliced into 16 rounds about 1-inch thick
- 1/2 pound Gruyère cheese, shredded
- 4 tablespoons good quality dry sherry (optional)
Heat a heavy soup pot over medium heat while thinly slicing the onions. Add the butter to the pot and melt. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper and gently caramelize, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes. If the onions begin to brown too quickly at the edges before they caramelize, turn the heat down a bit. Deglaze the pan with the wine, then let reduce for 1 minute while stirring. Add the stock and the Worcestershire sauce and simmer for 15 minutes more.
Meanwhile, place an oven rack in middle of the oven and heat the oven to 250˚F.
Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and arrange the bread slices on it. Toast the bread for 15 minutes. Switch the broiler on. Top the bread with lots of mounded cheese and broil for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese.
Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and stir in a tablespoon of sherry per bowl, if desired. Set four cheesy croutons into each bowl and serve.
Here’s how it went down at my house. I used a mandolin for all of the onions. It is an awesome tool–just make sure you don’t cut a finger off, that blade is sharp!
I ended up filling this pot with onions and letting them cook down. It took forever. This is not a 30-minute meal.
And, because I love a good short cut (and I didn’t have a french baguette at the time), I took a full bag of croutons and broiled some cheese on top. Easy-peasy.
The crouton idea was perfect. They added a little extra salt and seasoning to the mix and then soaked up the broth nicely.
Mmmmm, mmmm good.