French Onion Soup

Oh, boy! It’s cold and gross out. Time to stay home and stand over a pot of caramelized onions for about forever. It’s okay, it’s completely worth it. You can adjust the heat up or down a tad if it’s going a little too slowly or too quickly, but the key is to stay on top of it and stir those onions like it’s your job. Yah!

Hello, would you like some French Onion Soup? #lesacooks #frenchonionsoup

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Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon each unsalted butter and high heat cooking oil
  • 6 medium yellow onions (about 3 lbs); cut in half and thinly sliced lengthwise from stem to top
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced widthwise
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, 6-8 turns
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup dry sherry (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons or more fish sauce (optional)
  • 4 cups beef stock (low or no-sodium)
  • 1 cup gruyere, swiss or jack cheese, or a combination
  • 6 toasted baguette slices

In a 6-8 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, warm the butter and oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and stir well to coat. Add salt and pepper, and stir again. Turn the heat down to medium. Cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently, so the onions slowly give off their liquid and begin to color.  Add the shallot, thyme and bay leaf and cook for another 10-20 minutes, until the onions are light golden and the pan is almost completely dry. Add the flour and stir well to combine. Heat this mixture for about one minute, then add the water and turn the ehat up to medium high. Stir frequently until the water has almost completely evaporated, another 5 minutes or so. Add the wine and cook with the mixture until the onions are very deeply caramelized and nutty brown, and the wine has almost completely cooked away. Stir in the stock and turn the heat up to high until the liquid comes to a high simmer, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-high again and cook until liquid has reduced slightly, about 20 more minutes. In the last five minutes, if desired,  add a splash of sherry and fish sauce to deepen the flavor. To serve: put in 6 heat-proof bowls atop a baking sheet, turn your oven’s broiler setting on high. Fill soup cups ¾ full, add baguette slice and cheese, and broil until bubbly.


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