French Onion Soup (modified from ATK)

I made this for Dad’s birthday dinner because he loves onions (so do I) and after an icy weekend, what’s better than a bowl of yummy soup with bread and cheese?

I usually make Nanny’s recipe but this time I thought I would try a new recipe, from America’s Test Kitchen.  They have 2 french onion soup recipes listed, but the one I didn’t use called for roasting the onions in the oven for hours and I had too many other things to do to spend that much time on it. This came out wonderfully, no need for hours in the oven. I added more broth than they called for, and more onions, and it made 6 servings.

I always cut the baguette into slices and put gruyere on top and toast it in the oven on a tray so that I don’t need to put the soup bowls in the oven and make them so hot that everyone burns their fingers. This recipe was delicious! I think it’s definitely a keeper. Chris loved it too but said it needed a lot more cheese on top for his taste.  🙂

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 7 medium red onions (about 3-4 pounds), sliced thin
  • salt and pepper
  • 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 baguette, sliced (2 slices per serving)
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add sliced onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to coat onions thoroughly with butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are reduced and syrupy and inside of pot is coated with very deep brown crust, 40 to 45 minutes. [Note: at this point I took out some of the onions and moved them to a small saucepan so that I could make a vegetarian version for my stepmom, just using vegetable broth in place of beef + chicken but using all of the other ingredients and steps below]
  2. Stir in the chicken and beef broths, red wine, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, scraping pot bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, and bring to simmer.
  3. Simmer to blend flavors, about 20 minutes, and discard herbs.
  4. Stir in balsamic vinegar and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. (Can be cooled to room temperature and refrigerated in airtight container up to 2 days; return to simmer before finishing soup with croutons and cheese).
  5. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put sliced bread on baking sheet with shredded gruyere on top of each slice and bake until melted and starting to turn golden on the edges. Fill bowls with soup and top each bowl with two slices of bread and cheese.
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