I usually don't insist upon proper serviceware, but for French Onion, you need crocks. I got these at Target years ago and they are holding up nicely. I also use them for chowders and crumble desserts.
I like making French Onion Soup for guests because its classic and traditional, yet unexpected from a homecooked dinner. Its also host-friendly. Once you have it simmering, it can sit on the stove all day until you're ready for the final elements; a hunk of toasted bread and delicious creamy Gruyere (also, a must).
I don't usually insist upon a proper cheese, but Gruyere. I'm sorry. This dish will cost you about $8 in cheese. The rest, however is mostly just onions (cheap) and water (free!).
Here it goes:
- 8-10 small - medium white onions, sliced(enjoy a good cry)
- 1/2 stick butter
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 32 oz box of reduced sodium beef broth
- 2 cups water
- salt & pepper
- fresh thyme 2-4 sprigs
- 1-2 dried bay leaves
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar(secret ingredient ALERT!)
- 6 slices of French baguette, cut on a diagonal
- thinly sliced Gruyere cheese, about 3 slices per crock
- parmesan cheese, grated for topping
1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook onions, butter, salt & pepper, olive oil, uncovered. Stir frequently, until onions are very soft and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Add brown sugar and cook for 5 minutes. Add water throughout the cooking process as needed to prevent sticking or over browning.
2. Stir in wine and let cook for 5 minutes.
3. Stir in broth, water, bay leaves and thyme and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to low and partially cover. Let lightly simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The longer it simmers, the better.
5. When ready to serve. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove thyme stems and bay leaves. Taste soup for proper seasoning.
6. Place bread slices on large cookie sheet and bake about 10 minutes until dried and toasted. Reserve toasts.
7. Place crocks onto foil-lined cookie sheet. Ladle soup into crocks. Place one slice of bread into each crock. Top each with 3 slices of cheese to cover. Sprinkle parmesan cheese onto each bowl.
8. Broil until cheese is melted and golden about 2 minutes.
Stay cozy & patient! Spring will be here soon... I think.?
xo & a pinch,