My daughter has a new found hankering for onion soup which she had at some restaurant and kept asking if I know how to make it. We made some together from memory and it worked really well.
French Onion Soup
I love the hot cheesy topping as much as anyone else and it has been many years since I made onion soup. I have tried adding other vegetables and have found that it is best to keep it very simple. What you want is the aroma of sweet onions and garlic.
2 or three large Vidalia onions peeled and sliced
2 cloves of fresh garlic minced
half a cup of sliced leeks or diced shallots
3 tbs unsalted butter (I prefer half butter and half ghee which has a higher smoking point and results in a better browning fo the onions)
2 bay leaves
2 tsp vegetable bouillon
1/2 tsp herbs de Provence
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 cups good red wine
2 tsp flour
1 tbsp jaggery or raw sugar
1/4 tsp ground pepper
salt to taste
Heat the butter and ghee in a large soup tureen or heavy bottom saucepan and add the onions. When the onions begin to clear, add the garlic, leeks, shallots, and all the herbs.
Continue to cook over medium-high heat until the onions, stirring often, until they begin to born and caramelize. Be careful not to burn them.
Add two cups of any decent red wine (do not use cooking wine as it tastes awful) and continue to cook over medium heat until nearly all the wine was evaporated. Stir as needed to prevent sticking or burning.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions while stirring briskly just when the onions are turning golden. Lower the heat as needed and keep stirring for two minutes to cook the flour and get rid of any raw taste.
Add 8 cups of hot water and the bouillon and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes and add the salt and sugar.
You can serve this like any other soup in a bowl, with croutons or with fresh bread. The traditional, and my favorite way, is to serve in tureens with a slice of toast covered with a melting cheese like a (rennet free) gruyere, cheddar, emmenthaler, raclette, or fontina. Cut and lightly toast a pice of bread and place it over the soup. Cover with a few slices of cheese and broil for 2 or 3 minutes till the cheese is melted. Serve when it is bubbling.
Add a simple green salad and a baked potato or a plain omelet to make it a hearty winter meal.