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French Onion Soup Recipe
User rating: 4/4
Buy the best beef broth you can, or better yet, make your own for a rich, full-flavored soup. And if you don't have ovenproof bowls or ramekins for the soup, don't worry—you can just top your soup with melty cheese toasts.
Serves 4 as a main (or 6 as an appetizer)
1 3/4 hours
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter,divided
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 pounds Vidalia onions (about 4 medium), halved lengthwise, peeled, and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 6 cups homemade beef broth or store-bought low-sodium beef broth
- 10 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 baguette
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons sherry, preferably Fino or Manzanilla
- 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
- kitchen twine, six 8-ounce or four 16-ounce oven-safe ramekins or bowls (optional)
- In a large Dutch oven or other large pot, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the oil and onions; cook onions are until softened, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and sugar; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown and caramelized, heat slightly if onions seem to be browning too quickly, 35 to 45 minutes more.
- Add wine and raise heat to high. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Tie thyme and bay leaves into a bundle with twine. Add broth and herb bundle to pot with onions. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until broth is thickened and flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Heat the broiler. Cut two 1/2-inch baguette slices for every serving of soup. Place baguette slices on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until crisp and dry but not browned, about 1 minute per side. Rub one side of each toast with the garlic clove and set aside.
- Place ramekins or ovensafe bowls on a rimmed baking sheet, add 1/2 teaspoon of sherry to the bottom of each, and ladle soup on top. Top each serving of soup with two garlic-rubbed toasts. Divide cheese among the servings, covering the bread and some of the soup. Carefully transfer baking sheet to oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling, 4 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, if using regular soup bowls: Top each garlic-rubbed toast with some cheese and return to broiler to melt, about 2 minutes more. Divide sherry and soup among bowls, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top each serving with two cheese toasts.)
Soup can be made up to 3 days ahead (without toasts or cheese) if refrigerated, or up to 6 months ahead if frozen. Toasts can be made (without cheese) and kept sealed at room temperature for up to 3 days