Savory French Onion Soup
Meltingly tender onions, rich meaty stock and nutty cheese toasts—these are what make this boldly flavored, rustic French soup a favorite worldwide. Slowly browning the onions in butter allows their natural sugars to caramelize, giving the broth its signature depth of flavor and silky texture. Baguette slices float on top and aged Gruyère forms the traditional bubbling crust of cheese. Perfect for a cold winter’s meal.
Makes 8 servings
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 6 large yellow onions, thinly sliced; divided
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
- ⅓ cup dry sherry
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 16 (½-inch) slices French baguette, toasted
- 3 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (12 ounces)
- Chopped fresh thyme (optional)
In a large pot heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add half the onions. Cook, covered, 20 minutes or until onions are dark golden brown, stirring frequently.
Stir in wine. Increase heat to high and cook until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Add remaining onions, garlic, sugar and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, covered, over medium heat 15 minutes or until onions are dark golden brown. Stir in broth, sherry, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove and discard thyme and bay leaf.
Position a rack 8 inches from the broiler and preheat broiler. Place 8 broiler-proof soup bowls or crocks on a baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls; top each with baguette slices and cheese. Place baking sheet with bowls under the broiler. Broil 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Watch closely! If desired, garnish soup with chopped thyme. Serve immediately.
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