All-Day French Onion Soup
Does the title scare you? I had to be truthful. In the spirit of full disclosure, you need to know that this is a recipe best made on those days when your car has been stolen, or you have a flat tire, or a tree has fallen across the driveway. You know. Those “I’m stuck at home all day so I should probably make the best of it” days. Because you’re going to need it. But, oh … the result! Delicious.
The original recipe for this (found here) said it would be ready in 4 hours. But I was concerned about the onions burning in the oven, so I decreased the heat from 400 to 350, which certainly slowed things down a bit. I also tweaked her recipe a bit, which you’ll find below.
You’ll be shocked at how much this big pot-full of onions will reduce.
This is what they look like after the first hour and a half in the oven.
And this is after three hours.
Dave’s first bowl. For his second, he asked me for less bread and cheese. His lips were moving, but the words made no sense at all. (Less bread and cheese?!)
French Onion Soup
Real French Onion Soup … not the onion-flavored broth you get so often in restaurants. Takes some time, but is completely worth it.
- 6 med onions ((regular yellow onion, sliced thinly end-to-end))
- 6 tbsp butter (separated)
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup white wine ((Sherry works in a pinch))
- 2-3 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 small baguette ((sliced in 1" rounds))
- shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
- olive oil
Fill a Dutch oven or other large ovenproof pot with sliced onions. Dot with 4 tbsp butter and cover. Bake at 350 for 3-3 1/2 hours, checking every hour and stirring well. Near end, check more often.
When onions are golden brown, remove from oven and set on stove top. Cook on low heat, stirring often, until moisture is reduced and onions are very dark brown. Watch that they don’t burn.
Add chicken broth slowly, deglazing pan to lift up all the dark bits on the bottom. These are very flavorful (unless they’re burned), so don’t discard.
Add beef broth (alternatively, add two scoops beef Better Than Bouillon) and 2 cups water). Add bay leaf, sprigs of thyme (tied with twine if you have it–otherwise lay them on top. You’ll scoop them out later), Worcestershire sauce, remaining 2 tbsp butter, and salt and pepper. Simmer 20-30 min until thickened.
While soup is cooking those last 20-30 min, slice baguette and place on baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and bake until crisp, turning once.
Ladle soup in heatproof bowls, top with baguette slices and shredded cheese, and broil on low until cheese is bubbly.