French Onion Soup

Soup is amazing on a cool fall evening, and the healing benefits of onion and homemade soup stock help ward off the illnesses that are lurking.  Using homemade stock makes a world of difference for this recipe.  The taste of a soup made with store-bought watery broth just doesn’t cut it when you’ve had the real thing.  Sometimes when I have an afternoon at home I’ll make a huge batch of broth and keep it in the freezer to pull out for recipes like this.

I used a recipe from The Essential Soup Cookbook (thanks Marlene for this gift years ago!), then made changes according to what I had on hand.  I made a smaller recipe than the book called for,  and used chicken stock and white wine instead of beef stock and red wine.  I also used a sweet onion because I find I don’t cry when I cut them.  When I make this again I’ll try grating some cheese on top of the bowls and then put them under the broiler to bubble up instead of broiling the bread and cheese.

This recipe serves two generously, with some leftovers possibly.

What you need:

2 tablespoons butter

1 large sweet onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/3 cup dry white wine

4 cups chicken stock

1 spring fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

salt, to taste

1/3 – 1/2 cup gruyère cheese, grated

a few slices of baguette bread

What you do:

1.  Heat the butter in a pot at medium heat, then add the onions.  Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until the onions are nicely browned.  Don’t be tempted to speed things up by raising the heat, as the low heat gives the onions a mellower and sweeter flavour.

2.  Add the garlic and cook for a minute, stirring.  Then add the wine, chicken stock, thyme and bay leaf.  Bring this to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf and thyme before serving, and add salt to taste.

3.  Just before serving, grate the cheese and sprinkle it on the bread slices.  Put it under the broiler until the cheese is bubbling and begins to brown.  Place the cheesy bread on top of bowls of hot soup and serve immediately.

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