French Onion Soup

One day I just happened to catch the show, The Chew and they were making French Onion Soup. I had always wanted to make my own so I thought I would start with their recipe as my first attempt. My mom was in town from Ohio and she loves French Onion. We headed to the store to grab some of the ingredients. We had a tough time finding Gruyere but then an employee at Albertson’s walked us over to the specialty cheese case and handed us the last block of it. Not realizing until we got home that the one we got was apple smoked Gruyere. We took a sliver off the block and our eyes rolled into the back of our heads. We were sold! This recipe is best taken slow, so make sure to take your time in all the steps of the recipe. I have made this twice now with two different types of vegetable broth. The first time with a normal broth and the second time with a thicker organic vegetable broth. I loved the organic version best. 
Time: 60-120 minutes
Servings: 4
Contributed by: Clinton Kelly
·         Stock Pot
·         Liquid Measuring Cup
·         Measuring Cup (set)
·         Measuring Spoons
·         Long Stirring Spoon
·         Grater
2 extra large medium Yellow Onions (sliced)

1/4 bunch fresh Thyme (tied with kitchen twine)

1 Bay Leaf

1 teaspoons Kosher Salt

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

1 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup Full-Bodied Red Wine (Zinfandel or Cabernet)

32 oz. Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth or Organic Vegetable Broth

1/2 cup Water

1 teaspoon Black Pepper
6 slices of Baguette (1/2-inch slices) or your favorite croutons or both – The Cheese & Garlic croutons from Trader Joe’s are amazing!!!

¼ pound Gruyere Cheese or mild Swiss cheese (grated) or both

1 tablespoon of Parmesan (grated)
In a heavy pot, cook onions, thyme, bay leaf, salt, olive oil and butter over moderate heat, for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are a deep caramel color. It took my onions about 30 minutes. Just keep an eye on the color so they don’t burn.
Add flour and stir, cook for about 1 minute.  Stir in wine and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, water, and black pepper and bring to a boil.
Then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
When ready to serve, spread butter on your bread and toast baguette slices. Preheat broiler. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems from soup. Ladle soup into oven-safe crocks or bowls.
Top with toasted baguette slice, then grated gruyere, then grated parmesan. Broil until cheese bubbles and turns light golden brown.
NOTE: If you don’t have oven-safe crocks, you can make cheesy croutons. Place toasted baguette slices on a baking pan, top with both cheeses. Broil until cheese bubbles and turns light golden brown. Place one cheesy crouton on top of each bowl of soup.

Helpful Tips:

1. This recipe is best taken slow, so make sure to take your time in all the steps of the recipe.

2. In the crocks, make sure to leave enough room for the bread and cheese.

3. If you don’t have oven safe crocks, put the Baguettes with Cheese on a baking sheet and heat them in the oven, then add it to the soup.
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