Onion Soup (Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée)
Serves about 4 to 6.
Note: This beautiful classic soup is built on the patient sautéing of onions so that they become golden, but do not burn. We like to serve the toasty cheese baguettes on the side to give more options — you can dunk them in the soup or pile them on top before digging in. From Beth Dooley.
• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more softened butter for Cheesy Toasts
• 1/4 c. chopped parsley
• 1 (2-in.) sprig fresh rosemary, plus more small sprigs for garnish
• 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp. dried
• 1 small bay leaf
• 1 1/2 lb. onions, mix of yellow and white, thinly sliced
• 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 6 c. beef or chicken stock
• Generous shot of Worcestershire sauce, to taste
• 1/3 c. sherry or cognac, or generous splash balsamic vinegar, to taste
• 12 (1-in.) thick baguette slices
• 1 garlic clove, halved crosswise
• 1 1/4 c. shredded Gruyère cheese
To make the soup: In a large, deep, heavy soup pot set over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, onions and shallots. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and stir to coat the onions. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring regularly, until the onions are very, very soft, sticky sweet and a deep golden color, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Then stir in the stock, increase the heat a little and bring to a simmer, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Simmer, uncovered, until the stock has reduced by about 1/2 cup, about 20 to 30 minutes. Season with the Worcestershire and sherry, and serve garnished with small sprigs of rosemary if desired and the Cheesy Toasts on the side.
To make the Cheesy Toasts: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread both sides of the baguette slices with butter and place on a baking sheet. Bake, turning once, until golden, about 7 minutes per side. Remove and rub each slice on both sides with the cut side of the garlic clove. Arrange on the baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with the cheese.
Turn on the broiler and run the toasts under it until the cheese is bubbly; watch so it doesn’t burn, about 2 to 4 minutes.
Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:
Fat: 20 g
Sodium: 490 mg
Carbohydrates: 31 g
Saturated fat: 12 g
Total sugars: 8 g
Protein: 15 g
Cholesterol: 55 mg
Dietary fiber: 3 g
Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 high-fat protein, 2 fat.