French Onion Soup

In the spring, one of my favorite people gifted me with her mother’s french onion soup crocks and while I was excited to share about it then, it was too close to summer for anyone but me to be all that jazzed about French Onion Soup.  Only in Maine would someone find a day cool enough in June to still be wearing a sweater and thinking something warm and cozy for dinner.  SO, here we are in October and I managed to wait.  Yeah, me.

French Onion Soup

This is not the most traditional way to make French onion soup, but it sure is tasty and it doesn’t take four hours to sweat the onions.  Dawn, a galley colleague, makes it this way every week on her boat.  She made it for us one night and it was so yummy I had to develop a recipe for it.

Now, with the proper bowls and an honest to goodness salamander (restaurant broiler), I make crostini instead of croutons and melt the cheese the traditional way with the crostini floating as a raft in the soup and the cheese a generous mound on top.  Only a minute or two under the broiler produces bubbly, melted goodness.

This soup is infinitely better when made with homemade beef stock or broth.  I know it adds to the time factor but if you make the stock in batches to have on hand, it’s so worth the effort, and so much better for you.

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
5 cups onions (3 to 5 onions)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup red wine
6 cups beef stock
5 oz. grated Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups diced country or French bread

Preheat oven to 400°.  Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and sauté for 15-20 minutes or until all of the onions are soft, translucent and golden brown.  Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Stir in flour and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add wine and then the beef stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 1/2 hour.  Meanwhile, toss bread cubes with butter and spread onto a baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the croutons are golden and crispy.  Serve the soup with cheese and croutons on the side so your guests can add the amount that they like of each.

Serves 4-6

Comfort Food Fan

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