Updated 11/02/2011 05:00 AM
Recipe: French Onion Soup
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6 medium onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
6 Tbs butter
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4-1/2 tsp dried thyme)
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry red wine
6 cups beef stock (unsalted is best)
salt and pepper to taste
4 1-inch thick slices country bread, toasted
6 slices Gruyere cheese, divided between 4 bowls (see hints below)
Cut the tops and bottoms off of each onion, peel them, cut them in half from top to bottom and then cut them, flat side down from top to bottom, into thin slices.
Next, get those going in a large pot in 6 Tbs of butter on medium to medium high heat.
You can also add 2-3 minced cloves of garlic at this point and stir the onions around as they cook along and soften up.
It's going to take somewhere around 1/2 hour for the onions to turn a nice golden brown and then, at that point, add 1 Tbs fresh chopped thyme, 2 bay leaves and 1 cup of red wine and cook that along for a couple of minutes.........then add 6 cups of beef stock.....unsalted if you have it.
Let that simmer along for another 20 - 30 minutes and then season it with salt (if it needs it) and pepper to taste and, at that point, toast the sliced bread underneath the broiler and then place the toasted bread on top of the soup...in oven proof bowls on a baking tray....top that with sliced Gruyere, and place the tray underneath the broiler to melt and brown the cheese.
You definitely need a heavy bottomed pot for this so you can caramelize the onions without burning them.
The sliced bread needs to fit inside the oven proof bowls you are using.
Use sliced Swiss cheese instead of Gruyere if you like.