I used to hate French Onion Soup, which is funny because I can eat an onion like an apple, and may have on a dare once.
I don't know what it was about the soup I though I didn't like but then I tried it at a neighbor's house. I remember seeing her pull out of the oven this small white crock that overflowed with cheese and bread. The cheese was golden and running down the side of the crock. The bread was nestled under a pile of creamy cheese, soaking up all the hearty deliciousness of beef and onion flavor. One bite of that soup and I was forever a fan.
Sadly, I can't make this soup all too often. The Good Husband is super sensitive to onion cooking and no matter how well I think I have the kitchen ventilated, his eyes will start to water. So I have to wait for a day when he won't be home for a few hours, so the onions won't bother him.
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
5 medium onions, thinly sliced
Pinch of dried thyme
2 Tbs. dry sherry (I used white wine, just because I am not a fan of sherry)
2 Tbs. Worcestershire
3 1/2 cups Brown Beef Stock
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 to 3 slices French bread, toasted if fresh
1 Tbs. grated Gruyere cheese (I used Swiss cheese, however, since I am not a fan of Gruyere)
~Heat the oil and butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add onion and stir to coat. Add the thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, careful not to burn the onions, over medium heat. As soon as the onions start to brown, after about 15 minutes, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, covered, stirring more often, until the onions are a rich brown color, about 40 min.
~Add the sherry (or wine) and Worcestershire and cook on high until the alcohole has cooked off. Add the beef stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
~Place 8 ovenproof crocks on a baking sheet. Fill 2/3 of the way full with soup. Top with French bread and cheese and broil or bake at 450 till cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve immediately.