I remember how I felt after I made this soup for the first time. I was in awe that such flavours could be developed in my little kitchen. I felt like I had made something truly special and humbled that it came from such simple ingredients. Magic. This magic comes from the 45 minute process of transforming a full pot of onions to caramelized gold. Don’t rush this.
The only deviation I have made from the original source is to use red wine rather than white wine. I did this because I like the richness that red wine provides…and secondly I prefer drinking red over white. Do as you wish.
This recipe makes 5-6 servings. For our house of 2, we usually freeze the soup in the bowls, then pop them out and store in freezer bags until we are ready to enjoy again.
5 cups yellow onion, thinly sliced (a food processor makes this a cinch!)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup red wine
8 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons cognac (optional)
½ cup cubed French bread, per serving*
a generous ¼ cup shredded Swiss cheese, per serving
*you could use 1” slices, but, I find the eating experience far superior when cubed
- Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large dutch oven/pot. Add the onions and coat with the mixture. Cover and set heat to low. Sweat the onions for 15 minutes. No stirring necessary.
- Remove the lid and mix in the salt and sugar. Increase the heat to medium low and cook the onion, stirring frequently for 45-50 minutes. The onions should be a deep golden colour.
- Add the flour and stir constantly for 3 minutes. Add the wine.
- Slowly add the beef broth, about 1 cup at a time, while stirring. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Don’t over salt.
- Simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes. Stir in the cognac.
You could stop here….
But why would you?
- Meanwhile, lightly coat the bread with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toast in a hot oven (400F) for about 10 minutes, or well toasted.
- Set the oven to 325F. Divide the soup among oven safe bowls. Add a tablespoon of shredded cheese to each bowl. Top with croutons and remainder of shredded Swiss cheese. Place the bowls on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 15 minutes. Turn on the broiler. Remove the soups when bubbling and golden.
Source: Slightly Adapted from Smitten Kitchen