This is my dad’s french onion soup. It’s simple, delicious and can be served as an appetizer, or a whole meal served with a salad (it’s that good).
French Onion Soup
- 2 lbs yellow onions
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4-6 cups beef broth
- 1 bay leaf
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- high quality cooking sherry
- 1 lb gruyere cheese, shredded
- large bread crumbs or crusty bread such a baguette, sliced
- Slice the onions into thin strips. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet on medium heat, I use a large cast iron pan. You don't want the pan too hot, as we want to caramelize the onions. Add the onion and cook over medium/low heat for 20-30 minutes. Caramelizing takes a while, so when the onions get very soft and take on that nice brown color, you know it's ready for step 2. Take your time, there's no need to rush.
- Once onions are caramelized, in a medium/large stock pot, add the onions, beef broth and bay leaf. Bring it to a rolling boil, then lower heat and cook for 20 minutes. The broth should cook down a bit and the soup should slightly thicken. I don't generally add any thickener, but if you want a thick soup, you could add a tbsp of corn starch mixed with 2 tbsp water in a bowl before adding to soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove bay leaf.
- Turn on oven broiler.On a baking sheet/tray with sides, place oven-safe bowls in the tray. Ladle the soup into the bowls, leaving about 1 inch at top. Add 1 tsp (or a splash) of cooking sherry to each bowl. Place about 1/3 cup of bread crumbs or 1-2 slices of bread on top of soup, then cover with gruyere cheese. Place under broiler until the cheese is melted and browned a little on top. Carefully remove from oven and serve. Remember the bowls are HOT, so use a plate under each to serve.