Classic French Onion Soup
Everyone needs a classic recipe for French Onion Soup, and this is ours. A beautiful thing to serve on a February weekend.
Classic French Onion Soup is not difficult to make, but it is a slow go, and you don’t want to try to speed it up. That’s because you want the onions to soften and turn caramely, rather than brown too quickly and burn. But not to worry: leaving the onions to caramelize is the one slow part here. That means there really isn’t a lot of hands-on cooking or prep time. That means this is - almost - a set-it-and-forget-it recipe. Plus, while the onions take their time wilting and turning golden on your stove, you get to live in the deliciousness of the aroma taking over your house.
Topped with slices of garlic-rubbed baguette and a big melted pile of gruyere, this Classic French Onion Soup will surely hit the top of your family’s recipe charts.
PS – French Onion Soup is perfect for the freezer! If you are freezing the soup, omit the baguette and cheese until you’re ready to serve.
4 tablespoons butter
8 cups thinly sliced yellow onion (from 8 medium onions)
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 fresh thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon flour
8 cups unsalted beef stock, heated
1 cup dry white wine
12 slices baguette, cut ¾-inch thick
1 garlic clove, sliced in half lengthwise
4 cups shredded gruyere cheese
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sugar. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft, about 20 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep brown and caramelized, about 1 hour. Discard the thyme sprigs. Add the flour to the Dutch oven, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Slowly add the hot stock, then wine. Increase the heat to high, and boil 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, uncovered, 40 minutes.
Heat the broiler. Rub one side of each baguette slice with the cut side of garlic. Place 6 ramekins or ovenproof soup bowls on a rimmed baking sheet.* Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with 2 slices of the baguette. Divide the cheese among the bowls, covering the bread and the tops of soup. Broil until the cheese melts and bubbles, about 4 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
*If you aren’t using ovenproof bowls, arrange the baguette slices on the baking sheet and sprinkle with gruyere. Broil until the cheese melts and bubbles, 4 to 5 minutes. Top each soup bowl with 2 cheese toasts.
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