The only challenge of making onion soup is to avoid tearing while cutting the onions. Because I was wearing contact lens while cutting the onions, I realized it really helps. By the time I was done cutting, the whole house, including my kids came to me like they just had a serious cold, sniffing noses, watering eyes…except myself. If you don’t wear contacts, well, I heard wearing goggles helps too.
I gave up the traditional French bread slice topping for croutons, simply because it’s hard to have the bread slice soaked in the soup while maintaining the crunchiness. Using croutons provides you the goodness from the broth-soaked bread, but not compromising the crunch.
Add more broth or water if you want your soup a bit soupy. Mine was loaded with mouth-melting onion bits. Just the way I like it.
Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 large onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups low sodium beef broth
1 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups cubed French bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shredded Gruyère
Heat butter in a large heave-duty pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until the onions are well caramelized, about 30 to 40 minutes. Stir and scrape the bottom occasionally with a wooden spatula.
Add white wine and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Then add beef broth, vinegar and thyme and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 450F.
In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil. Set aside.
Spoon soup evenly into oven safe bowls or ramekins. Top with a handful of bread cubes. Cover with cheese. Transfer bowls in the oven and bake until the croutons are golden brown and the cheese melts. Remove from oven, let cool slightly. Sprinkle some more thyme and serve.