Don’t be intimidated in making this perennial favourite. These are basic steps but you can certainly customise it to suite your taste. Your stock will be key here so focus on that and the other bits will work very nicely together. A great light and healthy dinner option that is as comforting as it is soothing.
An hour and 10 minutes
- Warm soothing winter dinner
- Vegetarian option (without the cheese can be vegan)
- Great substitutes for Chicken Noodle Soup (for those with a slight cold)
- 6 large red or yellow onions (about 3 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced, about 10 cups of sliced onions total
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Salt to taste
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 8 cups of beef stock, chicken stock, or a combination of the two (traditionally the soup is made with beef stock)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp of loose fresh thyme (can also use a few sprigs of fresh thyme) or ½ tspn of dried thyme (more to taste)
- ½ tspn freshly ground black pepper
- 8 slices French bread or baguette cut 1-inch thick
- 1 ½ cups of grated Swiss Gruyere and a sprinkling of Parmesan
Kitchen things you’ll need:
- Quart pot or Saucepan
- Parchment paper or foil
- In a 5 to 6 quart pot, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat.
- Add the onions and toss to coat with the olive oil.
- Cook the onions, stirring often, until they have softened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium high and add the remaining tbsp of olive oil and the butter then cook, stirring often until the onions start to brown for about 15 more minutes.
- Then sprinkle with sugar (to help with the caramelization) and 1 tspn of salt.
- Continue to cook until the onions are well browned, about 10 to 15 more minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more.
- Add the stock, bay leaves, and thyme.
- Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes.
- Season to taste with more salt and add freshly ground black pepper.
- Take out the bay leaves.
- While the soup is simmering, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil and preheat the oven to 200°C (450°F)
- with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
- Brush both sides of the French bread or baguette slices lightly with olive oil (you’ll end up using about a tablespoon and a half of olive oil for this).
- Put in the oven and toast until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Turn the toasts over and sprinkle with the grated Gruyere cheese and Parmesan. Return to oven when it’s close to serving time and bake until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
- To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and transfer one cheesy toast onto the top of each bowl of soup.
- Alternatively, you can use individual oven-proof bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 180°C (350°F), or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned.