What a great time of year for a crock of French onion soup. Who can resist that bubbling raft of Gruyere cheese covering the rich, aromatic broth? It's too bad you get to experience one of life's great culinary treat so rarely. That surge of excitement, and saliva, that comes with seeing it on a menu is both welcomed and infrequent.
So, make it yourself! French onion soup has to be one of the easiest soup recipes ever. To make it the right way you do need a few hours, but it's probably raining out anyway. There are many great ways to spend a rainy fall afternoon, but few are as satisfying as listening to the rain, while smelling onions slowly sweetening in warm butter.
Do yourself a favor and throw out every French onion soup recipe that calls for those expensive "sweet" onions - you know, Walla Walla, Maui, Vidalia, etc. Those varieties are "sweet" because they have lower levels of the sulfuric compounds that give onions their sharp, strong taste when raw. These mild onions are awesome when eaten raw in salads, or on sandwiches, but when cooked, do not taste any better than your basic yellow onion. If you don’t believe me, email Alton Brown, whom I stole this rant from. Enjoy!
3-4 large yellow onions, cut in large dice
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/4 cup dry sherry wine
3 cups high-quality beef broth
2 cups high-quality chicken broth
1 cup water
shredded Gruyere cheese
Mime photo (c) Leesa0502