Thursday, March 4, 2010

French Onion Soup

It was a dark and stormy night.

There were 4 starving teenagers at the house.

No, this isn't the start of a horror novel -- it's my life! My son's friends are a great group of guys, and they're always hungry. I love feeding them, but wasn't sure if the evening's dinner plan, French Onion Soup, was going to go over big. They surprised me by slurping it up; one even went back for a second bowl (that would be the bowl that Picky Teenage Son refused).

Once again, Cook This, Not That was the inspiration for this recipe. You don't have to wait for a dark and stormy night (or the arrival of a ravenous pack of teenagers) to prepare it.

French Onion Soup
Serves 6

1 T. butter
5 medium onions (red and sweet yellow), sliced thin (I used my mandolin)
1/2 t. salt
2 bay leaves
6 cups low-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup dry red wine
4 - 5 fresh thyme sprigs
black pepper
6 slices sourdough bread
6 slices swiss cheese

Heat butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over low heat. Add onions and salt. Cover and cook over low heat until onions are meltingly soft, at least 30 minutes and up to 60 minutes, depending on your patience. Stir every 10 minutes or so.

Add the bay leaves, broth, wine and thyme to the caramelized onions. Simmer on low heat for at least 15 minutes. Season with pepper. Discard bay leaves.

Preheat the broiler. Place six oven-proof bowls on a heavy baking sheet (one that won't go "boing" and twist). Divide the soup among the bowls. Top each bowl of soup with a slice of bread and a slice of cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling; about 3 minutes. Serve.

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