French Onion Soup Recipe

by Kimberley ThompsonTastemaker in Residence

So I pass on a special winter recipe to you...one I made for my late father...at the little bungalow up north.

For a bit of Kimberley's soup prepping narrative...go to Savory Soups.

Ingredients - The Soup Recipe

4 Vidalias sliced thin and separated
1/2 stick butter
2 to 3 quarts good beef stock (depending if you like broths or substance)
4 Parmesan rinds, from your local cheese shop
2 generous sprigs thyme, rinsed
4 oz. Stilton cheese, crumbled
1 to 2 cups real apple cider
2 cups shredded Gruyere

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot, slowly caramelize the onions in the butter. (At this point, I usually stop and make the croutons.)  
  2. Once caramelized (about 20 minutes), add the stock, the rinds and the thyme. Heat to a bare simmer uncovered for 20 minutes; then stir in the crumbled Stilton, smashing any bigger pieces against the side of the pot. Pour in the apple juice.  
  3. Reduce heat until ready to serve.

Ingredients - The Crouton Recipe

1 narrow French baguette, sliced lengthwise.
4 Tbsp. of good olive oil with 1 clove of smashed garlic in it (allow to sit 10 minutes)
2 cups shredded Gruyere

Instructions

  1. Split baguette lengthwise; toast cut side up under broiler until lightly toasted.  
  2. Remove from oven and brush tops with garlicky olive oil.  
  3. Evenly place shredded Gruyere on top of each long half.  
  4. Gently press on cheese to adhere.  
  5. Cut each half into 4 inch sections, place on broiler pan and put back under broiler to gently melt. No need to brown during this step.

To Assemble Soup and Croutons

  1. Pick out and discard parmesan rinds and sprigs of thyme
  2. Then put hot soup in oven proof bowls; equally dividing the onions.  Don't worry if you seem to have too much broth to use...see below.  
  3. Set crouton on top each bowl and top with the remaining shredded Gruyere.  
  4. Pop in the broiler until the cheese bubbles and browns.  
  5. Remove carefully from oven....very hot.  

Serve and enjoy!

Cooks Note

If you ever have extra of this soup-either freeze as is or puree and freeze. I freeze my puree in small snack bags; about a 1/2 cup or so in each.

Add to any gravy...it will raise it to the sublime!