French Onion Soup
This delicious, hearty soup is perfect on a cold winter day after coming in from the snow. It is wonderfully cheesy, silky and has great depth of flavor. Simple substitute for vegetarian option, see below. For gluten-free option, substitute flour for buckwheat flour and use gluten-free bread. Enjoy!
- 2 pounds medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 Turkish or 1 California bay leaves
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ stick organic butter
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose, whole wheat or buckwheat flour
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 5 cups beef broth or vegetable broth (if using vegetable, add 1 tablespoon miso paste)
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 6 slices (½ inch thick) diagonal slices of baguette or similar gluten-free bread
- 1 (½ pound) piece of Gruyère, Comte or Emmental, grated
- Cook onions, thyme, bay leaves, and salt in butter in a 4- to 5- quart heavy pot (like le Creuset) over medium heat, uncovered.
- Stir frequently until onions are very soft and a deep golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Stir in wine and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Stir in stock, pepper and miso paste (if using), and simmer, uncovered, stirring occaisionally, for 30 minutes.
- While soup simmers, preheat the oven to 350°F, with oven rack in middle position.
- Arrange bread in 1 layer on a large baking sheet and toast, until both sides are completely dry and slightly golden, about 15 minutes.
- Remove croûtes (fancy word for toast) from oven and preheat broiler to 350°F.
- Put oven-proof soup crocks in a shallow baking pan.
- Discard bay leaves and thyme stalks from soup and divide soup among crocks, then float a croûte in each bowl.