Still a favorite in our family for cold winter meals, onion soup can be traced back to the Roman Empire! Onions were cheap and easy to grow. But it’s in Paris that this the modern version of the soup was created in the 18th century. It was introduced in America in 1861 by Marie-Julie Mouquin, wife of the famous French restaurateur. It was a very “chic” dish to order at restaurants in the 1960s.
Serves 6 | Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time 1 hour
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
4 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 (8-ounce) baguette, cut into slices
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
8 cups beef broth
½ cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
2 cups grated Gruyère
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the onions, and season them with salt and pepper.
Cover, and cook on medium-low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a baking sheet.
Arrange the bread slices on the sheet and toast them in the oven until they are nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Turn them over halfway through.
Set the toasted bread aside. When the onions are cooked, raise the heat to medium-high and add the sugar. Cook until they are a deep golden brown.
Add the beef broth, wine, and bay leaf, and bring the pot to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf. Preheat the broiler, and raise the oven rack to high.
Set out 6 heatproof bowls, and ladle soup into each.
Top with a slice or two of bread, pressing it into the top of the liquid. Add a layer of cheese.
Broil until the cheese is melted and golden. Serve, and enjoy!