Ahh, winter. While we haven’t had as much snow as we normally might, New England has not been without the chill. On cold days like today, we like to spend our time bundled up in front of the fire, playing board games or reading, while a homemade soup simmers on the stove. Wintertime is when I embrace my French heritage the most, and these cold winter days are perfect for gathering around the table with family, good wine, and a warm bowl of this classic soupe à l’oignon, or French onion soup.
Soupe à l’oignon is traditionally made with a mix of gruyere and swiss cheeses melted on top, though I tend to substitute the swiss for a mild gouda or fontina cheese, as my husband does not care for swiss much. Other than that substitute, we stay true to the original recipe. With perfect, caramelized onions and a cozy stock full of fresh herbs, topped with a toasted French baguette slice and melted cheese, this soup will fill your bellies and warm your soul.
6cupsbeef stockTip: you may also substitute the beef stock with beef bone broth.
2tspwhite wine vinegar
12(3/4 inch thick)French baguette slices
1cupshredded swiss cheeseTip: if you don't like swiss, try substituting with provolone, jarlsburg, a mild gouda, fontina, or more gruyere.
1cupshredded gruyere cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Melt the butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and stir often, until deep golden brown and caramelized, about 30-40 minutes. If your onions begin to burn, lower the heat. slightly and add in a 1/4 cup of water. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the stockpot.
Add in beef stock, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 15-20 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
Stir in white wine vinegar; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Preheat your oven to broil.
Place baguette slices onto a baking sheet. Place into oven and broil until golden brown on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side; set aside.
Divide soup into ramekins or ovenproof bowls. Place onto a baking sheet. Top with baguette slices to cover the surface of the soup completely; sprinkle with cheeses. Place into oven and broil until golden brown and cheeses have melted; about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.