5 Weeks of Soup Recipes - Week 2: French Onion Soup

I love French Onion Soup.  Good French Onion soup, that is.  Because it's got so few ingredients, those items in it must shine!  I love this recipe - it's full of flavor and not too terribly time consuming.  The onions take a bit of time but they can be left to cook, for the most part, just checking on them from time-to-time.  They are well worth the effort.

French Onion Soup

source:  Anne Burrell
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 large onions, thinly sliced 
salt to taste
6 ounces dry sherry
4 bay leaves
1 bundle fresh thyme
2 quarts chicken stock {or 1 quart chicken, 1 quart beef}
12 thin slices baguette
1/2 pound Gruyere, grated

In a large, deep pan, add a coating of olive oil then the onions.  Sprinkle the onions generously with salt.  Bring the pan to a medium heat. Stir the onions just to coat with oil, then cover the pot and sweat for 15 to 20 minutes.

Once the onions are quite soft and have released quite a bt of water, remove the lid and continue cooking them, long and slow to develop a rich brown color and sweet flavor, 40 minutes to 1 hour.

When the onions are very brown and have shrunk considerably, add the sherry and cook until the sherry has reduced by half. Add the bay leaves, thyme bundle and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour. Add water if the broth reduces too much.  Season with additional salt, as desired.

Toast or grill the baguette slices. Fill ovenproof crocks 3/4 of the way with the onion soup, float 2 toasts in each bowl and top with grated Gruyere. Place the crocks under the broiler to melt the cheese and make it brown and bubbly. 

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