French Onion Soup

With the fall chill coming a little stronger every day, this hot and savory soup ought to warm you up in no time!

When slicing the onions for this recipe, slice them with the grain.  This means cutting them from pole to pole, as opposed to against the grain which would be parallel to the onion’s “equator”.  Slicing with the grain will allow the slices of onion to retain their shape better after sautéing, giving you the characteristic strips of sautéed onion in the finished soup, instead of mushy bits and pieces of onion floating throughout.  I read recently that cutting onions with the grain produces a more mellow onion flavor, whereas slicing onions against the grain brings out a stronger flavor, but don’t worry–this soup is chock full of savory onion-y flavor!

French Onion Soup

Servings:  8
Time:  2 hours

4 tbsp. butter
4 sweet onions, thinly sliced with the grain (pole to pole)
4 Spanish onions, thinly sliced with the grain (pole to pole)
1 tsp. salt
1½ tbsp. flour
1/3 cup cognac (I use Hennessey)
1/8 oz. (about 1½ tbsp.) chopped fresh thyme
3 whole bay leaves
½ tsp. freshly cracked pepper
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3 cans (each 10½ oz.) Campbell’s beef consommé
3 cans (each 10½ oz.) Campbell’s beef broth
¾ cup chicken broth
3 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
1 baguette, sliced into ½-inch thick slices

1.  Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over low heat.  Add the onions, and sprinkle them with salt.  Gently toss to coat then place a lid on the Dutch oven and allow to cook for 1½ hours over low heat, stirring every 20 or 30 minutes.

2.  (Preheat oven to 375°F.)  Sprinkle flour over the onions and toss to coat.  Add the thyme, bay leaves, fresh pepper, and lemon juice.  Gently stir.  Turn the heat up to medium and cook for another 2 minutes.

3.  Stir in the cognac, beef consommé, beef broth, and chicken broth.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Meanwhile, place the sliced of baguette on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Spray the tops of the bread with cooking spray and bake at 375°F for 5 minutes, until lightly toasted.

4.  (Set oven to broil.)  Ladle the soup into serving bowls.  Float two or three baguette slices in each bowl of soup (enough to cover the surface) and top with shredded Gruyère.  Place the bowls under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and begins to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes.  Serve immediately.

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