... also known as French Onion Soup.
I've been making this for years, but kind of according to my own recipe, which was good. But tonight I took a look at Julia Child's, and I have to say she totally kicked my ass. I'm really not surprised though - the woman did write a few cookbooks, after all.
I used to use red wine to fill out the broth. Julia's uses vermouth and brandy - a distinct improvement. However, it did mean that I was stuck with some "superfluous" red wine. On a Wednesday, no less! :)
5 c thinly sliced yellow onions
3 tbs butter (oh Julia... )
1 tbs oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
3 tbs flour
2 litres beef stock
1/2 c dry white vermouth or white wine
pepper to taste
3 tbs cognac
rounds of hard-toasted French bread
1.5 c grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese (I used cheddar but Julia says Swiss is best)
1. Melt the butter and oil over low heat (seriously - low) and sautee the onions for 15 minutes. They should get nice and translucent.
2. Raise the heat to moderate and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the onions are nice and golden brown. This adds depth to the soup. YUM.
3. Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the hot beef stock and vermouth while the pot is off the heat. Then simmer the soup for 40 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, toast your baguette slices. When the soup is done simmering, stir in the cognac (I used brandy).
5. Pour the soup into French Onion Soup bowls (I got mine for 99¢ at the Salvation Army!) or oven-proof individual bowls. Stir a bit of cheese into the soup. Float the toasted bread on top and top with more cheese. Julia says you're also supposed to stir grated raw onion into the soup but I opted not to do this. Still delicious!
6. Bake the soup in a preheated oven at 325º for 20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes until the melted cheese browns.
7. Let the hot soup sit a few minutes and enjoy!