Wednesday, July 11, 2012

French Onion Soup

This soup is a labor of love...  It takes forever!  But it tastes great.  So don't let the amount of time involved scare you off permanently.  Because it really is worth it!  Unless you don't like onions.

  • 8 sweet onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 2 t. garlic
  • 4 T. butter
  • salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cider vinegar
  • 4 c. beef broth
  • 1/4 c. unfiltered apple cider (opt)
  • pepper, to taste (opt)
  • crusty bread
  • swiss cheese
  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add a layer of onions and sprinkle with salt.  Continue layering onions and salt until pot is full.
  2. Sweat onions for 15-20 minutes.  Do not cover, and do not stir.
  3. Add bay leaves and thyme.  Cook until onions are significantly reduced, stirring occasionally.  It generally takes me about an hour and a half.  Onions will darken and start to fall apart, and will be sweet (almost syrupy).
  4. Remove bay leaves and thyme.  Add chicken broth and apple cider vinegar and increase heat to medium high.  Reduce liquid to at least half, or until onions are back to a thick consistency.  Should take about 15 minutes.
  5. Add beef broth and apple cider.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. To make swiss crostinis: Heat oven to 425.  Slice bread into half-inch thick slices and place in a single layer on baking sheet.  Bake for four minutes, then flip bread slices and bake for another four minutes.  Top with slices of swiss cheese and bake for 4 more minutes.  Serve over hot soup.
Might I suggest you taste the soup right after adding the beef broth, but before adding the apple cider.  If you use sweet onions, your soup might have just the right amount of savory and sweet.  Any other onion will work, and you can add or omit the apple cider, depending on your taste.  The first time I made this, I used sweet onions and added four times the amount of cider.  It was way too sweet.  The second time I made it, I used a variety of onions and only added a little bit of cider.  It was perfect.  But then again, I like onions!  *B

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