French Onion Soup
- 4 lbs. yellow onion
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 water, divided into 1/4 cup portions
- 1/4 cup sherry
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- bouquet fresh thyme and one bay leaf (tie together some thyme sprigs and bay leaf)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Slice onions pole to pole into 1/4-inch slices.
- Spray a Dutch oven with cooking spray. Add 3 tbsp. butter and sliced onions, then sprinkle 1 tsp. salt over the onions (this helps release juice from onions). Place lid on pot and put in 400 degree F oven for one hour, until onions begin to wilt down.
- Remove pot from oven; stir onions. Return to oven again but crack lid slightly; leave in oven for 1 1/2 hours more, but stir after one hour. The onions should start darkening and developing fond, the golden brown bits from the carmelizing of the sugars in the food.
- Remove pot from oven and continue cooking over medium-high heat on stove for 20 minutes in order to continue creating golden brown fond (the more fond the more flavorful the soup). Lower heat if onions are getting too dark (you want a dark golden crust on bottom of pan–not black but brown).
- Now it’s time for deglazing (removing and dissolving the carmelized bits of fond). Add 1/4 cup water to pot & mix, scraping bottom, until fond is lifted up. Continue to cook over heat for 6-8 minutes, until more fond develops. Then repeat the deglazing process followed by creating more fond. Do this for 3 sets of deglazing & creating fond.
- For the fourth round of deglazing and browning, use 1/4 cup sherry instead of water and brown onions again until alcohol evaporates, about 5 minutes.
- Now add 4 cups chicken broth + 2 cups beef broth + 2 cups water to pot + 1/2 tsp. salt + bouquet fresh thyme and one bay leaf, tied together; simmer 30 minutes. (Too much thyme will overpower the soup, so go easy on the thyme bouquet.)
- Remove thyme/bay leaf; add bit more salt and some pepper, to taste.
- While soup is simmering, toast 3/4-inch crosswise slices of baguette at 400 degrees F for about 6-10 minutes, turning halfway through baking time (keep your eye on them so they don’t burn).
- Scoop soup into bowls; float a couple slices of toasted bread atop each bowl of soup.
- Garnish with 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese on top for each bowl; place into oven under broiler until cheese melts and browns a bit. Keep your eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
Yields: 6 bowls soup
PRINTED FROM Scrumptious and Sumptuous