The heartwarming attributes of this classical French soup don’t need an introduction. This is an absolutely delicious recipe for one of my favorite soups. I will not nag about Miami’s unfriendly-soup-weather… Total denial here! The A/C is on… and it’s soup time! :)
It looks complicated but it is extremely easy to prepare and uses simple ingredients.
As for serving; you have two options. You can place the bread at the bottom of the soup bowl so it soaks all the soup goodness. I don’t like that version because it makes the bread super soft (unrecognizable) ending up with one unique mushy texture for your dish. It’s a “non” for me.
The second traditional option is to have one or two big slices of bread on top of the soup with melted cheese… hmmm! Good luck eating that elegantly! You have to brake a small piece of bread while including a little bit of the soup in your spoon just to realize you made a mess. A considerable amount of soup is spilling over your bowl while you were initially trying to create a balanced spoonful of the screaming hot dinner. NO! That never worked out nicely.
I like different textures in my food. This is why I chose to add small bread cubes on top on the soup with some cheese and broil to a nice golden heaven: Gorgeous aesthetics! The cheese will be melting and the crunchy bread has the perfect size! It is now safe to dig in and enjoy…
You can prepare the soup a day in advance. When you are ready to eat, reheat the soup, divide in individual serving dishes, top with bread and cheese and broil for a few minutes. That’s it. Beautiful, easy and oh so comforting.
Bon appétit (:
recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 lb (approx 1 kg) sweet onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white wine
5 cups beef stock (use vegetable stock for a vegetarian option)
1 bay leaf
5 fresh thyme sprigs
3 cups of old crusty bread diced in small cubes
1 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (or Emmental)
Fresh thyme for serving
Prep all the ingredients.
You will need one big pot with a lid, individual oven safe mini pots or onion soup bowls and a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat then add the chopped onions. Season lightly with salt and mx to coat the onions. Cook uncovered for 40 minutes, mixing from time to time. The onion volume should have diminished by two thirds, the onions are super soft, light golden and starting to caramelize.
Lower the heat to medium-low, add the flour and garlic and mix well. Pour the white wine, stirring well and deglazing. You want all the golden sticky goodness from the bottom of your pan. This is exactly where the flavors are! Add the stock, bay leaf and thyme. Turn up the heat to medium-high to bring the soup to a boiling point, cover and let it simmer for 45 minutes over medium-low heat.
Stir occasionally. Taste and correct seasoning with some salt and freshly group black pepper.
15 minutes before serving, heat the oven broiler to “high”.
Place individual oven safe soup bowls (or mini cocottes) on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Pour some soup in each serving dish leaving half an inch for the toppings. Cover each bowl surface with cubed bread and top with a generous amount of shredded cheese. Place in the oven for a minute or two until melted and lightly golden.
Be careful; the broiling step is very quick. Stay attentive and check on the status often if you don’t want to end up with burnt bread!
Sprinkle a few fresh thyme leaves and serve immediately.