Fabulous French Onion Soup

French onion soup is one of my favorite soups!  If I go to a restaurant and they have french onion soup, I always order it!  So today I’m going to make my version of this delicious soup, it does require a lot of hands on time, but I promise it’s worth it.  I asked my good friend Sarah Goedhart, who’s a winemaker at Hedge’s Family Estate, and owner of Goedhart Family Estate to write a little about a wine pairing for this dish.  I’m hoping Sarah will do this frequently, because I’m usually left scratching my head as to what wine to have with a certain dish and I usually end up texting Sarah from the wine section in the store anyway!!  To see Sarah’s wine pairing suggestions, scroll to the end of the soup recipe.  We hope you enjoy!  ~Janna

Ingredients:

Large stock pot

ladle or wooden spoon to stir

5-6 sweet onions (I use Vidalia or Mayan sweet)

4Tbs butter (not margarine)

1/4tsp salt

1/4tsp pepper

1 cup of red wine, I used Goedhart Syrah, a Cabernet or red blend would work as well.

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme (dried will not do)

3 cups of vegetable broth, beef broth or I used vegetable “better than boullion”, follow directions on jar to make your stock.

About 1 ½ cups shredded Gruyère cheese (don’t use smoked Gruyère)

1 french baguette cut into 1-1 ½ inch rounds

Directions:

Slice onions into ¼ inch rings or smaller, put butter into stock pot and turn heat onto med.  When the butter is sizzling add the onion and salt and let sweat for a few minutes.  Stir occasionally so the onions don’t burn.  You will end up carmelizing the onions which will take close to an hour of cooking and stirring.  Hang in there!

This is what onions will look like after a few minutes of cooking and stirring.  Don’t worry if you get little scorched bits.

This is after about 40 minutes of cooking and stirring occasionally, were almost there!

When carmelized, the onions will have a deep caramel color and be very soft.  At this point add the 1 cup of wine, simmer until wine thickens (a few minutes).

Add the stock, thyme and pepper and let simmer a few minutes more.

Slice the baguette into about 1 ½ inch rounds, place on a baking sheet and turn oven on broil, broil for 2 minutes or until tops are golden, no need to turn.

Ladle soup into oven safe bowls, place one slice of baguette into each bowl on top of soup toasted side up.  Top baguette with about ¼ cup of grated Gruyère cheese.  Place bowls on a baking sheet and put under broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted.

You have now made french onion soup!  This recipe will make about 4 large servings.  Below are Sarah’s suggestions on wine pairings.

Sarah:

French onion soup has a lot going on. You have the sweetness of the onions, the savory herbs, the rich broth and the nuttiness of the cheese. My preference a red wine that is on the rustic yet fruitier side such as an inexpensive Beaujolais-Village or a Cote du Rhone (usually both in the $11-16 range) and if you can’t find French, the CMS Red from Hedges Family Estate is a great stand-in! White wine can also pair well with this soup, I’d go with a dry white wine from Alsace, which would offer a refreshingly chilly cleanse after a bite of this luscious soup. Just be careful not to burn your mouth on this typically mouth-searing dish, otherwise it won’t matter what you are drinking!

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