FRENCH ONION SOUP
This favorite soup is easy to make, but you must be patient: the onions need to simmer in butter for a long time to bring out their sweet, natural flavor. Topped with cheese croutons, it's even better. Serve as a first course for a prime rib dinner.
- 1/4 cup butter (no substitute)
- 4 medium yellow onions (about 2 pounds), sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 6 cups rich beef stock or broth (preferably homemade)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf
Directions for soup:
- 6 slices French bread
- 1 cup grated packed Gruyère cheese
Meanwhile, to make croutons:
- In a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter.
- Add onions and garlic and mix well.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
- Stir in sugar and cook, uncovered, until onions are tender and lightly colored, about 30 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
- Add remaining ingredients except bread and cheese and cook until flavors are blended, about 20 minutes longer.
- Remove bay leaf and discard.
Ladle soup into bowls, float croutons on top, serve and enjoy!
- Preheat broiler and place bread on a baking sheet.
- Broil bread on one side until browned, about 2 minutes.
- Turn bread over, cover with cheese, and broil until bubbling, about 1 minute.
- Cut into large pieces.