French Onion Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4-5 medium to large onions (I prefer using several varieties for the best flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme (or two sprigs fresh thyme)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Cheese for garnish (see note below)
  • Crusty bread
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice the onions. I recommend using the slicing blade of a food processor for this.
  2. Melt the butter in a large stock pot, and add the onions, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until the onions are very soft and a lovely shade of golden brown. This should take 30-40 minutes.
  3. Add the red wine all at once, and continuing cooking and stirring until the onions are dry and the wine has cooked out.
  4. Remove the bay leaves and thyme springs (if you were using fresh).
  5. Sprinkle the flour on top, and allow it to cook for another 5 minutes, or until it has browned.
  6. Pour in the stock and balsamic vinegar and allow the soup to simmer and thicken for around 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Place the soup into oven-safe bowls or ramekins. Top with a slice of crusty bread and a generous handful of grated cheese.
  8. Pop into the oven and broil until the cheese is bubbly and brown.
  9. (If you don't want to place your bread on top, you can serve it on the side.)
Notes
The caramelization of the onions is the most important part of the entire recipe-- don't rush it. (And keep your eye on them to make sure they don't burn!)

The quality of beef stock and chicken stock you use will either make or break this French onion soup recipe. I HIGHLY recommend you use homemade broth for this.

If you don't want to use wine, you can substitute an extra cup of broth instead. But the wine really brings a beautiful depth of flavor to this recipe.

I have made this recipe without using flour, and it will still work. So if you are gluten-free, that is definitely an option. The addition of the flour just provides a slightly creamier texture, in my opinion.

French onion soup purists always use Gruyere cheese in their recipes. I love Gruyere, but it's pretty expensive and I never seem to have it on hand. Therefore, I usually opt for swiss, Parmesan, or mozzarella instead.

I suppose you could omit the balsamic vinegar, if you want, but I wouldn't recommend it, as it adds the most perfect pop of extra flavor.

French onion soup gets even better the second day. If you have leftovers. Which you probably won't.
Recipe by The Prairie Homestead at http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2015/01/french-onion-soup-recipe.html