Prep 20 mins
Cook 3 hrs
My (and my mom's) version of the classic French Onion Soup. Using Julia's recipe as a base, this uses butter and bacon fat to saute, gets a splash of cognac and a cup of wine along with the rich, flavourful beef stock. My stepbrother (who requested it in the first place) ate two huge bowls!
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon rendered bacon fat (or canola oil)
- 8 large onions, thinly sliced into half-moons (approx 3 lbs)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour (you can use rice flour for GF)
- 8 cups low sodium beef broth, hot
- 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1⁄4 cup cognac
- 1 cup dry white wine (we used a French Sauvignon Blanc)
- 6 thick slices French bread, cut to the size of the serving bowls and toasted
- 1 1⁄2 cups coarsely grated gruyere (for a true French soup, use Comte)
- Heat a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat with the butter and bacon fat.
- Stir in the onions and cover.
- Cook slowly, stirring once or twice, until onions are tender and translucent, about 12 minutes.
- Stir in the salt and sugar, increase the heat to medium, and let the onions cook, stirring just enough to prevent burning, until brown (25 to 30 minutes).
- Sprinkle the flour and cook slowly, stirring constantly, for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in 2 cups of hot stock.
- Return to the heat and bring to a simmer, adding the rest of the stock, thyme, Cognac, and wine.
- Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove thyme sprig and simmer a further 15 minutes, adding a little water if the liquid reduces too much. Taste for seasoning.
- Divide the soup between 6 ovenproof bowls.
- Arrange toast on top of soup and sprinkle 1/4 cup of grated cheese on top of each croute.
- Place bowls on a baking sheet and place under a preheated broiler until cheese melts and forms a crust over the tops of the bowls.
- Serve immediately.