French Onion Soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 3 pounds Vidalia onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup dry sherry
- 6 cups beef broth
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 small day old French baguette
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley or fresh chives, to garnish (optional)
- Remove the tip and outer skin from the onions and slice in half from root to tip. Slice each onion half into ⅛ inch slices.
- In a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed deep soup pot warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and a healthy pinch of salt. Don’t worry if the dutch oven looks too full, the onions will cook down. Stir to coat the onions with the olive oil and salt, reduce heat slightly and let the onions caramelize, slow and low, until brown, jammy, and a nice layer of fond forms at the bottom of your cooking vessel.
- Add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze with 1 cup of dry sherry, scraping the bottom to release the browned bits of fond; simmer for 5- 10 minutes.
- Add all 6 cups of the beef stock, the rosemary and thyme as well as the umami boosters: 1 tablespoon each of fish sauce, soy sauce and balsamic. Simmer soup while we work on the crouton top.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or use a toaster/toaster oven). Slice baguette into ½ inch slices, lay into a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Peel the garlic clove and rub each piece of baguette with garlic. Drizzle baguette slices with olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper. Toast until golden brown and crisp.
- Remove the aromatics from the soup and discard. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Ladle into oven safe ramekins or bowls. Sprinkle the top of each ramekin with grated cheese, layer 1-2 toasts, top with more cheese. Broil in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling. Garnish with fresh, mild, green herbs, if desired.