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YIELDS:

6 servings

PREP TIME:

0 hours 5 mins

COOK TIME:

1 hours 35 mins

TOTAL TIME:

1 hours 40 mins

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ingredients

4 Tbsp. Butter

2 Lbs. yellow onions, cut in half lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick OR cut in quarters and put through the slicer on your food processor

1 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 Cup dry sherry

6 Cups beef stock

¾ Tsp. dried thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

French baguette, cut into twelve 3/4-inch thick slices

12 Oz. Gruyere, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)

Fresh Thyme sprigs for garnish

DIRECTIONS

1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions and spread them out in a thin layer. Sprinkle with the sugar, and cook, stirring often to keep onions from sticking. Cook until the onions are soft, golden brown, and starting to caramelize, about 1 hour.

2. Sprinkle flour over onions, and stir to coat. Cook for about one minute.  Add sherry, stock and thyme.  Bring the soup to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to combine. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Arrange bread on a rimmed baking sheet and toast under the broil until a light, golden brown on both sides; set aside.  If serving cheesy bread on the side, top each slice of bread with a couple of tablespoons of cheese and brown under broiler.

4. Ladle 1cup hot soup into six ovenproof soup bowls. Arrange the bowls on a rimmed baked sheet. Place 2 slices of toasted bread over each bowl of soup to cover the surface of the soup completely. (See my notes below for alternative methods). Sprinkle grated cheese over bread in each bowl, and place under the broiler until cheese is melted and brown in spots.  (A couple of minutes). Garnish with the fresh thyme sprigs and serve.

NOTE: I love onion soup. Is there anything better than the long pull of cheese that you get from the soup? But I have two weird quirks when it comes to food in general and this soup in particular. (Yes, I’m sure there are more…lol)

First, long cheese pulls and twirling the cheese while slurping the soup is just plain ‘ol fun! But doing that in public or while other people are watching me makes me uncomfortable. I just know at any moment, I’m going to be wearing that soup. You know what I mean.  And I don’t want to be “worrying” about making a mess while I’m enjoying this.  So if I’m serving this to guests or making this for people I don’t know really well, I’ve taken to toasting my bread, topping it with cheese and melting it under the broiler. Only, I serve it on the side or lay it across the rim of the bowl. This way my guests get all the goodness without any of the mess. Full disclosure: If I’m alone, with family or my besties, I pull that cheese like there is no tomorrow. This is food you want to engage with!

My second quirk is that I have personal issues with texture. What? Well, for example, I don’t want a hunk of soggy bread floating in my onion soup. It is mush and I just don’t want it. I know, I know, the traditionalists will be saying: “Are you kidding me? That’s the best part!” But I personally don’t want it in my soup. When I order this in restaurants, I always tell them no bread in the soup. (On the side with butter is just fine!) Of course, they think I’m on some low carb diet but really it is just that texture. So, I just leave out the bread and top with a ton of cheese. It won’t “float” like it does when it sits on the bread but it is just so much better as it mixes in with my soup. I felt compelled to share that…just in case there is another “anti mush” person out there!

Prepping the onions can certainly be done by hand.  Cut them in half and then slice them thinly (half moons).  However, if you have a food processor, this job is a piece of cake and takes about 1 minute.  You just pop in the slicing blade and then add each onion quarter through the feeding tube and the machine does the rest.  I use a KitchenAid food processor and it really makes life in the kitchen a breeze.  It is an investment but it’s one you make just once.  I’ve had mine for over 20 years.  If you are looking for a real work horse in the kitchen, this is your machine.  If not, you can use your super sharp kitchen knife and get those slices thin.  Remember, this will be on a soup spoon.

Since I have made this a lot, years ago I invested in these great soup bowls with handles. They are so adorable and the perfect way to serve soup without spilling it all over the place. I had purposely bought them because I was serving onion soup at a dinner party and didn’t want to worry about picking up the crock and getting it to the table in one piece. These worked out great. Now, I use them for this recipe, all my soups and chili’s too. You can buy them here: French Onion Soup Bowls

No matter how you serve the bread and cheese, this soup is a classic and just perfect on a fall day. Bon Appetit!

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