Simple and delicious but this soup takes some time … you can’t rush cooking the onions. It is perfect on its own or with a spinach salad.
Traditional French onion soup does not call for garlic but I am not traditional. Also, there is no need to add sugar to the onions. They will sweeten without sugar.
- 4 large white or yellow onions (about 5 cups of sliced onions total)
- 2 T Olive oil
- 2 T butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 C chicken stock
- 1 – 2 C beef stock
- 1 T flour (*see note)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 dry sherry
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 teaspoons of fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 inch-thick slices of French bread or baguette, toasted
- 1 cup of grated Swiss or Gruyere and a sprinkling of Parmesan
- Cut chives for garnish
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add the onions, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions with the pot covered for about 10 minutes are very soft. Take off cover, add garlic and continue cooking, stirring about every 5 minutes until onions start to caramelize then every minute until caramelized, about 35 minutes. They should be the color of a light toffee. Add flour (if using) and cook until the flour smell goes away, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add the wine and sherry to deglaze the pan. Reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
When you’re ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.
Protip: We break up the pre-toasted bread into crouton size bites before we add it to the soup!
*Note: If the onions are milky when you cook them, you may not need the flour. Also, if you make the soup a day before serving, do not add the flour or it will be too thick.