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Classic French Onion Soup

It's hard to find something more comforting than a good bowl of French onion soup this time of year — piping hot with some some gooey Gruyére cheese melted right on top. This may come as a surprise to some, but French onion soup really is one of the easier soups to make from scratch, and there is one key step in perfecting your bowl. The big secret is in slicing your onions so all of the rings are consistent in thickness!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3 pounds of yellow onions, sliced to consistent thickness (I use a mandolin)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 cups canned beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • 4 bread slices, toasted
  • 1 cup grated Gruyére cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Melt the butter in a large pot on the stove, then add onions, stirring to coat. Reduce heat to medium and you want to sweat the onions down until they caramelize, having a nice brown color to them. You want to keep an eye on your onions stirring frequently so they do not stick to the bottom of the pan, about 30 minutes.

Pour in the wine and stir to coat. Most of the wine will evaporate. Add in beef and chicken broth, both bay leaves then stir and simmer for 20 minutes.

If you are preparing ahead you can stop at this point until you are almost ready to serve — just be sure and heat the soup back up before moving to the next step. This can be done a day ahead.

Prepare your oven-safe bowls with the cubes of bread.

Remove the bay leaves from the broth and ladle the hot soup over the bread, allowing enough room on top of the bowls to add plenty of the cheese.

With both the Gruyére and Parmesan cheese combined, sprinkle the tops of each bowl generously and return to the oven under broil to allow for the cheese to become brown and bubbly.

Before serving I sprinkle fresh thyme over each of the bowls to add a nice essence and flavor to the soup.

With the sometimes hectic holidays ahead, it is nice to sit down with a comforting bowl soup and reflect on all of the accomplishments achieved earlier in the day.