FIRST, YOU MAY WANT TO GET THE PLAYLIST GOING...
There are few dishes cozier than French onion soup. It is also fun to make, with the variety of onions and the layering of the gruyere cheese, intermingled with the crispy French baguette.
We've been to a lot of French restaurants where this dish is their signature, including in Paris, and I have to say that this version is my favorite!
COOK TIME is about 30 minutes.
Makes about 12 servings.
SHOP THE KITCHEN...
and the knives...
For the Soup
3 large white or brown onions.
1 bunch or green onions.
3 32oz boxes of beef broth.
1 32 oz box of vegetable broth.
1 Cup of Olive Oil.
3 pounds gruyère cheese. (Note: you'll need about 1/4 pound per portion)
For the Toasted Baguette
1 whole large fresh baguette.
2 sticks of butter.
1 large red onion or 3 large shallots.
A sprig of fresh thyme.
Begin by washing/peeling/slicing all of the onions for the soup.
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot.
Add all of the onions and sauté until caramelized..
Add the beef broth and vegetable stock.
Leave on high heat and bring to a boil.
Then reduce to simmer.
NOW GET STARTED ON THE BAGUETTE
ADJUST OVEN RACK TO A LOWER POSITION
AND TURN ON YOUR BROILER
Peel and then thinly slice the red onion (or the shallots- shallots are a tad bit sweeter).
heat with the butter and a little salt (to taste) in a small sauce pan until caramelized.
This is also a good time to stir the soup.
While this is happening, you can slice up the bread...
Slice the baguette at a slight diagonal into 1 inch thick slices.
Slicing on the diagonal creates longer pieces, which will help with positioning when it's time to place into the soup bowls.
Once caramelized, transfer the onion and butter mixture into a small dish.
Press one side of each bread slice into the onion butter mixture, absorbing the butter...
then arrange on a baking sheet.
Using a fork, place a small bunch of the onions onto each bread slice.
Sprinkle on a bit of fresh thyme.
Toast in the oven, under the broiler.
Watch carefully so it doesn't burn.
THE FINISHING TOUCHES
Thinly slice the gruyère.
Add the soup to an oven safe Au Gratin bowl.
Be sure to include a lot of onions.
They will pile at the bottom.
Place the toasted slices into the soup at an angle so one end of each is touching the bottom.
...Then generously layer gruyère around and under all of the slices.
Do your best to keep the cheese from submerging into the soup. Be sure to pile it on thick because some will melt into the soup.
Finish with a thyme sprig.
Transfer the prepared au gratin dish onto a baking sheet...
...and place under the broiler (you can do a few at the same time if you like)
WATCH CLOSELY SO IT DOES NOT BURN!
(Note: Keep some aluminum foil at the ready. You may need to lightly cover the exposed toast ends to keep from burning.)
Remove when cheese is fully melted and begins to brown.
VOILÀ! FRENCH ONION SOUP
Be REALY CAREFUL with the hot au gratin dishes and be sure to remind your guests to not touch them!