This French onion soup is very rich. You can make onion soup without the stock or broth and wine, but I like this version. You can use sweet onions or a combination of sweet onions and red onions, if you prefer. I do either. With 8 cups of stock or broth, the wine, and 8 onions, you should end up with about 8 bowls of soup.
Unless I am having a crowd over, I paddle all of my soup into soup bowls, place the ones I am not going to use in the freezer, and then, a few hours later, when the soup is firm, I place the crouton on top as well as the cheese and wrap up each bowl w/soup with plastic wrap. THEN, aluminum (tin) foil. The soup stays in the freezer for months, really, and makes a convenient entrée down the road. It takes AN HOUR for a frozen bowl of soup to be ready, but, we think it is worth it! Onion soup is something you want to eat on a yucky day to warm your heart and your spirit, and if you have some bowls in the freezer, it is only an hour away…
- 2 T olive oil
- 8 large onions, thinly sliced
- 8 cups beef stock or broth
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup wine, optional
- Freshly ground pepper
- French bread, sliced into 1/2”slices
- Gruyere cheese, grated
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until fragrant but not smoking. Add the onions and sprinkle to taste with salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the cover, raise the heat slightly add sugar and, stirring frequently, continue to cook until the onions turn a deep caramel brown, about another 30 minutes.
- Add the stock and bay leaves, wine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes more to blend flavors.
- Make 1/2”slices of bread and place in a slow oven (325 degrees) on a baking sheet and totally dry out to make a crouton, but do not brown.(if the bread slices are not dry they will sink into the soup). Set aside
- Remove the bay leaves from the soup; season it with salt & pepper and ladle into bowls.
- Top with French bread croutons. Sprinkle gruyere cheese over the top of the bread and broil in the oven until the cheese bubbles.
- Note: To save extra soup, place soup in bowls (no topping) and put in freezer. Freeze lightly, remove, add the crouton slices and cheese, wrap up and put back in the freezer. I wrap the bowl with the soup with plastic wrap, then wrap it again with tin foil.
- To re-heat, unwrap the soup bowls. Save the tin foil (aluminum foil). You will use it later! Place soup bowls on a baking sheet in COLD oven, set heat to 350 degrees, and warm for 30 minutes. Tops should be browning.
- For the next 30 minutes of the re-heat, place aluminum foil you had saved from the wrapped soup bowls on soups to stop the browning, and continue to warm for another 30 minutes. Total reheat time: 1 hour