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French Onion Soup

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Ingredients:

2 lbs Sweet Onions (Vidalia or Walla Walla) – radial sliced
2 cloves Fresh Garlic – small chopped
3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme – tied
2 Bay Leaves – tied
1 Cup (apx 1⁄2 Bottle) Dry White Wine
4 Cups (1 Quart) Beef Broth – homemade preferred – can substitute low sodium store-bought
1⁄2 stick Unsalted Butter
1 French Baguette – sliced 1⁄2 inch thick
Gruyère Cheese – 2 slices per serving OR 1⁄2 lb grated
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

Preparation:

1) Preheat the oven to 350oF
2) Arrange baguette slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet – Toast on the center rack, flipping once until completely dry (apx 15 minutes total) – Set aside – Can allow ‘Croûtes’ to cool to room temperature and store in a zip-top bag at room temp for up to 3 days at this point
3) Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat – Add onions and garlic, season with a little salt and pepper – Allow to cook (stirring regularly) until softened and deep golden (10-30 minutes) – DO NOT rush this step! Cooking too quickly over higher heat will make onions bitter and add a scorched flavor to the finished soup
4) Add wine to onions and bring to a simmer – Allow simmering for 3-5 minutes until slightly reduced in volume
5) Tie thyme sprigs and bay leaves together with a little kitchen twine – Add to pot along with beef
broth and bring back to a boil – Reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer uncovered (stirring occasionally) for 30-45 minutes – Adjust seasoning
6) Remove thyme and bay leaves from soup and discard – You can allow soup to cool to room temp and store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days at this point

WHEN READY TO SERVE

7) IF soup is cold, reheat over medium heat before proceeding
8) Preheat broiler to high
9) Divide soup into 4 – 6 oven-safe soup crocks, ramekins, or bowls
10) Float croûtes in each (1 – 3 pieces) to cover soup as much as possible (cut to fit if necessary) –
Cover croûtes with 2 slices OR grated cheese (completely cover serving dish tops – allow some
to hang over the edge for a ‘traditional look’)
11) Arrange prepared servings on a shallow baking pan or baking sheet and broil 4-5 inches from
broiler until cheese is melted and ‘bubbly.’
12) Serve hot