Onion Soup With Cheese Toasts
Serves: 6
  • Olive oil
  • 3 lbs onions, peeled, sliced ⅛-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch thyme, tied with string
  • 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 6 slices day-old bread, lightly toasted
  • 6 ounces grated Gruyère
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  1. Set 2 large, wide skillets over medium-high heat. When pans are hot, add 1 tablespoon oil and a large handful of sliced onions to each pan. Season onions with salt and pepper, then sauté, stirring occasionally, until they are a ruddy dark brown, about 10 minutes
  2. Transfer onions to soup pot and return pans to stove. Pour ½ cup water into each pan to deglaze it, scraping with a wooden spoon to dissolve any brown bits. Pour deglazing liquid into soup pot. Wipe pans clean with paper towel and begin again with more oil and sliced onions. Continue until all onions are used. Don’t crowd pans or onions won’t brown sufficiently.
  3. Place soup pot over high heat. Add wine, bay leaves, thyme bunch and garlic. Simmer rapidly for 5 minutes, then add 8 cups water and return to boil. Turn heat down to maintain a gentle simmer. Add 2 teaspoons salt. Cook for 45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. (May be prepared to this point up to 2 days in advance.)
  4. Remove the thyme and bay leaves.
  5. Make the cheese toasts: Heat broiler. Place toasted bread on baking sheet. Mix grated cheese with chopped thyme and sage, along with a generous amount of pepper. Heap about 1 ounce of cheese mixture on each toast. Broil until cheese bubbles and browns slightly. Ladle soup into wide bowls and top with toast.
Tanis' original recipe calls for red onions, but I just used yellow onions since I had them on hand. He also addes 1 tsp chopped sage to the cheese toasts, but I didn't have any so I just used thyme alone. When I reheated the soup for lunch the next day, I simply put sliced gruyere on the bread and toasted that, omitting the herbs and the grating. I think I liked it best that way, but it was all good.
Recipe by Sprung At Last at http://www.sprungatlast.com/2014/01/onion-soup-with-cheese-toasts/