Topped with toasted bread and gooey cheese- you’ll want to eat this sweet, chunky onion soup by the gallon!
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
4 - 6 cups thinly sliced onions
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons black pepper, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
4 bay leaves
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups beef broth
2 cups chicken broth
2 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
1/2 cup dry white vermouth (or dry white wine)
3 tablespoons cognac (or brandy) - optional
grated raw onion
grated gruyere, reserve the rinds to flavor the soup
(Feel free to use whatever types of grated cheese you please, though for the traditional onion soup finish, gruyere is the best)
- Melt butter and oil together in a large saucepan over low heat. Add onions and stir to coat with butter/oil. Cover the pot and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and stir in salt, pepper, celery seed, oregano, shallots and sugar. Raise the heat ever so slightly and simmer 40 minutes to an hour, stirring frequently. The longer you let the onions caramelize, the better this soup will be. The goal is a deep, golden brown color that smells absolutely heavenly. Don’t rush perfection!! If the onions start to get too dry, replace the lid for several minutes.
- After the onions are caramelized, add the flour and cook for 3 minutes. The flour will soak up a lot of the excess liquid so keep stirring to prevent the mixture from burning.
- Add the wine, then pour in broths bit by bit, stirring between additions. Add bouillon cubes, bay leaves and gruyere rinds (if available) and stir to incorporate.
- Season again with salt and pepper, to taste. Don’t overdo the salt- the bread and cheese will add saltiness at the end.
- Stir in cognac, if desired.
- Bring soup to a simmer and stir occasionally for another 30 – 40 minutes, partially covered, or until desired consistency is reached.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring soup to a boil and pour into soup bowls arranged on a foil-covered pan/baking sheet (watch out for the bay leaves and gruyere rinds!). * Top with a mound of grated raw onion, followed by a piece of toasted bread (try to completely cover the top of the soup if you’re going for the full “cheese seal”). Finally, cover the bread with a generous heaping of gruyere and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.
- Bake soups for 5 minutes then broil for 5 minutes till the cheese is brown and bubbly.
Makes 3-5 servings.