French Onion Soup

 
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Who doesn’t love a warm bowl of gooey baked onion soup? This dish is a staple at French bistros during the cold months. It's so comforting to have on a stormy night or when you have a craving for something salty, warm and cheesy. I’ll use any excuse to make this, especially since it can be made ahead of time, then baked just before serving.Here are two simple secrets to making this soup even more flavorful: add a bit of good quality Cognac or Brandy, and use homemade stock.

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

¼ cup unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 leek, white parts only, finely sliced

½ cup dry sherry

½ cup dry white wine

4 cups good quality chicken stock

2 teaspoons coarse salt

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 slices French bread

2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese

Instructions

In large skillet, melt butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add leeks and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft, 20 to 25 minutes

.Add sherry, white wine, chicken stock, salt, pepper and thyme. Bring mixture to boil; lower to simmer and cook 10 minutes longer. 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place bread on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until bread is crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes; set aside.

Divide soup among 8 ovenproof bowls. Place bread on top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly golden. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.

Serves 8.

 
Marisa Curatolo