Sniff, sniff, tear,.....tear, sniff. Don't worry about me, I'm just chopping onions. Lots and lots of onions. Why am I chopping so many onions? Because my husband loves French onion soup, and I love my husband.
I know, that was super sappy. But before you roll your eyes, hear me out. This year for Valentine's Day, I decided that instead of getting Chris one big gift, I'm doing one random act of kindness for 7 days straight. Nothing big, just seven random things. One day I got him a new phone charger because his mysteriously disappeared after my sisters came to visit. :) One day I'm downloading the new Eric Church album on iTunes for him. Just little things that he likes. And one new recipe that he LOVES. Did I mention that he loves French onion soup? Oh, good. Well, he really does.
French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup
6 T butter
4 large or 6 medium yellow onions, sliced thin, lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T all purpose flour
1/2 C dry white wine or sherry (I used sherry)
1/2 C red wine (I used a shiraz)
8 C reduced sodium beef stock
Loaf of ciabatta bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
8 oz freshly grated Gruyere
Heat heavy bottom pot, such as a French oven, to medium low heat and melt butter. Add onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir occasionally and allow onions to caramelize. This process will take 45 minutes to an hour. You don't want to onions to stick to the bottom, but don't stir them too much. You want them to get translucent and a deep golden brown color.
Dust the onions with flour and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine, scrapping the bits off the bottom of the pot. Bring wine to a boil, reduce heat and cook until wine has evaporated and onions are dry. Add beef broth and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat broiler, arrange ciabatta on baking sheet and toast until crispy. Remove from oven and set aside. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves and season to taste. Ladle soup bowls or crocks with soup, top with ciabatta croutons, then top with grated Gruyere.
Place crocks under broiler for a few minutes until cheese is meeeeellllty and starts to get golden brown. Or until you just can't wait any longer!
Ok, a few notes. I read a lot of reviews of different recipes for this soup and there are some things that I think are really important to mention. I used a red and a white wine here to really get some great flavor into the onions. Also, it is very important to cook the onions low and slow to get a real caramelization going. You don't just want sautéed onions. That would just be weird. I also think it's important to get a great cheese. The Gruyere is so nutty and creamy and I think it makes a huge difference.
So, the verdict? After two bites, Hunter Hann said it was the best French onion soup he had ever had. I yelped out a loud "YEA!" and did a little happy dance. So Tinsley started clapping. :) She makes me melty. Almost as melty as the delicious Gruyere!
So despite our onion breath, this was a fun, romantic dinner. What's your favorite kind of soup?