Cheese-Topped Onion Soup

READY IN: 2hrs 30mins




  • Using a long chef's knife, cut 1 onion in half from top to bottom.
  • Lay it cut side down on the cutting board, cut it lengthwise in half again, leaving it intact at the root end, and then thinly slice crosswise (discard the root end).
  • Repeat with the remaining onions.
  • Add the olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot; set over low heat (Dorie uses an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven).
  • When the butter is melted, add the onion and garlic; season with salt, and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Decrease the heat to the lowest setting and cook the onions, stirring often, until they are a deep caramel color.
  • Have patience; depending on the heat and the onions, this may take an hour or more.
  • Don't be tempted to speed things up, because if you burn the onions, the soup will have a bitter taste.
  • However, if you don't get the onions really brown, the soup will be pale in both taste and looks.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir for a minute or so to cook away the flour's raw taste.
  • Pour in 1/3 cup wine and, stirring to pick up any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pot, let the wine cook away, 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in the chicken broth and the remaining 2/3 cup wine, season with salt, and bring to a boil.
  • Decrease the heat so that the liquid just simmers; partially cover the pot, and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Check the soup for seasoning, adding white pepper and more salt if needed.
  • *Your can set the soup aside for up to 2 hours, until serving time, or refrigerate it for up to 3 days; bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes before continuing.
  • Preheat the broiler; line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and have six deep ovenproof soup bowls at the ready.
  • In necessary, cut the slices of bread so that they fit into your soup bowls; it is up to you whether you want the bread to almost cover the surface of the soup or to float in the soup like a large crouton.
  • Place the bread on the lined baking sheet and broil just until the slices are toasted; flip over and color the other side.
  • Remove the bread, and put the soup bowls on the baking sheet.
  • Pour about 1 teaspoon Cognac into each bowl.
  • Ladle in the soup; top each with a slice of bread, and cover the bread with the grated cheese.
  • Run the soup under the broiler just until the cheese is melted and bubbling; serve immediately; warn your guests--this is HOT.