One of my most favourite soups is French Onion soup, which really can be made at any time of year but I love it in fall with its hearty deep flavour and cheesy bread topping – it’s so comforting. This is an old traditional dish but the beauty of home cooking is to make it work for you. This also traditionally uses red wine but there are many variations using everything from white wine to cognac to vinegar. Use what you have on hand. I like to add a splash of balsamic vinegar for an extra layer of earthy flavor. I’ve also been known to add some sliced mushrooms and it’s amazing that way too!

  • c
    1/2 cup
    unsalted butter
  • c
    4
    large yellow onions, sliced
  • c
    2
    garlic cloves, minced
  • c
    2
    bay leaves
  • c
    2 tsp
    dried thyme,  or two sprigs fresh
  • c
    1 tsp
    sugar
  • c
    1 cup
    red wine
  • c
    1 tbsp
    balsamic vinegar
  • c
    2 litres
    beef broth
  • c
    1
    baguette, sliced
  • c
    2 cups
    grated Gruyere
  • c
    -
    Salt and pepper to taste
  • Directions
    • 1
      Using a heavy and wide pot or skillet, (I love an enamel coated, cast iron pot for this recipe) melt the butter and add the onion, garlic, herbs and salt and pepper to the pot. Turn the heat down low and add the sugar. It’s really imperative that the heat is low – you don’t want your onions to stick to the bottom of the pot or the garlic to burn. Stir and cook over low heat for approximately a half hour or until the onions are very soft and dark in colour.
    • 2
      Add the wine and bring to the boil until the mixture is almost dry and the wine has mostly evaporated. (this is when you would add flour if you wished for a thicker broth, add 2 or 3 tbsp of flour and cook a few moments before you add the broth – 1 cup at first, working in the flour and then the rest.) Add broth and vinegar and allow to simmer for another 15 min while you slice your baguette and grate your cheese. Also pre-heat your oven broiler.
    • 3
      Remove the bay leaves and ladle broth into your oven safe crocks, top with a slice of baguette and sprinkle generously with shredded cheese. Broil until broth is bubbling and cheese has browned.
    • 4
      Let sit for a few min before serving.
    Tips
    • 1
      If you like a thicker broth, add some flour.

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