Sliced yellow onions are cooked low and slow until soft and mellow, then turned into a wonderful French Onion Soup with Sherry, beef broth, and fresh thyme. Cheesy gruyere and toasted baguette slices finish it off!
4lbsyellow onionsthinly sliced (about 6 onions)
4tbspbutter*(or olive oil)
20sprigsfresh thymetied together with kitchen string
softened butterfor spreading
Place the sliced onions in a big pot and season with 1/2 tsp salt. Nestle the butter underneath the onions (so it's close to the heat at the bottom of the pot), then cover the pot with a lid. Place the pot over medium heat, and let the onions sweat for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid, and let the onions cook for another hour, stirring every 5 minutes or so to make sure the onions aren’t burning. Note that the onions are more prone to burning at the end of the cooking process, as the water has cooked off.
Once the onions are caramelized and brown, and have reduced down in volume, add the Sherry. Raise the heat to medium high and cook for a few minutes, until the alcohol looks like it has cooked off (see blog photo).
Add the beef broth, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning, and add salt as necessary.
When you're ready to serve, preheat the oven broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a sheet pan and toast under the broiler for about 1 minute, until golden. Flip the baguette slices over, and butter the other side to your liking, and toast again, until the other side is golden. Ladle the soup into ovenproof soup bowls. Float a few slices of toasted baguette on top, and add a handful of gruyere cheese, as much or as little as you'd like. Broil the tops for a few minutes until the cheese gets bubbly and brown. Enjoy!
*You may use unsalted or salted butter, whatever you have.**It is very important to use a great quality beef broth. This is one of those products that varies wildly by brand. I didn't believe it until I did a taste test on my own. Imagine brand and Better than Bouillion are good choices, but I'm sure there are other good quality ones I haven't tasted.