You cannot visit Paris and not eat in a café bistro – it is almost impossible! And given the cooler temperatures, I was happy to warm myself up with bowl after bowl of French Onion Soup topped with a generous layer of Gruyere cheese, s’il vous plait!
Here’s my attempt at recreating it at home. Make sure to get a good sourdough or baguette – regular white bread with just get soggy and turn into a pulp
French Onion Soup
- 3 lbs onions, sliced
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Worchestire sauce
- 1 L beef broth or vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 cups water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped (optional)
- Sour dough loaf (best if it is day old) cut into ¾ inch slices to fit the top of your soup bowls
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half
- 6 oz. aged Gruyere cheese, grated
- Fresh parsley for garnish
In a large pot, add the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, cooking gently until deeply browned. Take your time on this as it could take up to 40 minutes. Add the herbs, garlic and sugar and cook for a minute until everything gets really sticky. Pour in the vinegar, Worchestire sauce, broth, wine and water. Increase the heat and bring to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
Right before serving, add the fresh thyme and adjust for salt and pepper. Preheat your broiler and ladle soup into bowls reaching about ½ into the rim and place all the bowls onto a rimmed baking tray.
Rub the cut-sides of the garlic onto both sides of the bread. Arrange over the soup and sprinkle with cheese. Grill the cheese under the broiler. Very carefully remove and serve.