This is a pretty standard, classic dish — not much to change, only to tweak. Seasonings are up to you, so make them personal. Use vegetable broth instead of beef if you’re vegetarian, or use chicken stock if you’re just looking for lighter fare. This version is very heavy on the onions, so reduce those if you find them overpowering.
2 Tbsp butter
6 medium to large yellow onions, sliced in half and then into half rounds
3/4 cup vermouth (like Noilly Prat)
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
8 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
3 large sprigs fresh thyme
Salt & pepper
Round slices of crusty bread (optionally buttered on both sides)
1 cups grated Swiss Gruyère
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- In a large, deep saucepan, heat the butter on medium high. Add in onions and sauté for 30 minutes. The onions should begin to caramelize and turn brown. Remember to stir often so nothing sticks to the bottom, but scraping some of the brown bits into the onions is a good thing.
- Add garlic and sauté 3 minutes. Deglaze saucepan with vermouth, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add stock, herbs and salt & pepper.
- Bring to a boil, tunr down and simmer for anywhere from 1 hour to 1 hour and 45 minutes. The longer the flavours have to meld, the better.
- In oven proof bowls, ladle the soup. Top with some crusty bread, sprinkle on the cheese and pop under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and brown. Bon Appetit!
Tip: Try this as a showy appetizer (in small bowls) at your next get together, or savour it alongside a light spinach salad as a full meal. Whatever you choose, just be sure to use good quality cheese, it makes all the difference.