No really it will. Its French Onion Soup. And if your onions are good and out of the garden it sure will make you cry!
I know. I know. French onion soup is not normally something that you think about as summer food. Its one of those great curl-up-by-a-fire-in-an-over-sized-sweater-under-a-quilt-while-its-snowing kinda soups. But we had these great bonus onions and I couldn’t resist making it.
Bonus onions? YEP! This winter we had 3 onions that sprouted because I forgot to use them. Mr. Steam decided to try our luck and throw them under some dirt in the garden. And whaddya know, we now have a boat load of onions. Or at least enough to make soup!
- 3 lbs of onions while or yellow (NOT PURPLE!!!)
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 t – 1/2 t of dry thyme (depending on how much you like it, if you have fresh use 1 sprig)
- 1/2 T kosher or sea salt (DO NOT USE THIS MUCH TABLE SALT!!! If you only have table salt use about 1 t)
- 1/2 t pepper
- 1/2 c sherry (dry is preferable)
- 1/2 cup brandy (DO NOT USE APRICOT BRANDY – don’t ask me how I know that)
- 2 c white wine
- 2 c beef stock
- 6 c chicken stock
- Stale french bread – or something crusty that will fit in your soup bowl
- Grated provolone cheese
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Melt the butter in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Add the onions, bay, thyme, salt and pepper. Saute the onions on medium heat until the onions are a rich brown. Its going to take a good 20 min or more. You NEED them to get brown, that is what creates the amazing deep flavor. No brown, then no flavor. Stir the onions occasionally.
When the onions are the right shade add the sherry & brandy. Use a spoon to scrape up all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. That’s right scrape it up. That all yummy flavor! Trust me! Simmer for about 5 min. Most of the liquid should be gone. It should look like onion gravy at this point (and I have stopped at this point and used it as such! Delish!). Add the wine and simmer for 15 more min.
If you want to skip the alcohol that’s fine. Just increase the beef and chicken stock to make up the difference. The soup won’t have the same depth of flavor, but it will still be yummy.
Add the beef and chicken stock and simmer on low for about 20 – 30 min.
Now comes the magic!!! Turn on your broiler. Slice the french bread to about 1″. Put it under the broiler and let it toast on each side 30 sec – 1 1/2 min depending on your broiler. When doing this do NOT walk away. Do NOT answer the phone. Do NOT answer the door. That bread will go from perfect to hockey puck in nothing flat!!!
Put your soup in an oven proof bowl. Place the toast slice on top of the soup. Put some grated provlone & parm on the bread. Put the bowl under the broiler for enough time for the cheese to get ewwy gooey melty and this is what you’ll have….