Well, some of you asked so here it is:
French Onion Soup (or: the easiest way to fool people into thinking you’re a gourmet cook)
- 6 or 7 onions. (I use sweet onions, but that’s your taste)
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1/4 cup of Sherry
- 2 boxes of beef broth
- 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
cut up the onions as fine as you care to eat them and put them in a heavy pan (I use an enameled cast iron dutch oven) with the butter on a medium high heat. Stir periodically. The butter will sizzle and the onions will get this really happy golden color. It takes about fifteen minutes or more for that to happen, depending on the size of your pot and the amount of onions.
When the onions are the happy color add the flour to the pan, whisking it into the butter and the onions until it forms a paste. Let that paste get to a light brown color. This is called a roux.
Pour your sherry (don’t use cooking sherry. It’s nasty. Use the real thing) into the roux and whisk briskly or the roux will lump up. (This is the hardest part of the entire thing, and it’s NOT HARD.)
Once the sherry has incorporated into the roux and you have a nice rich onion/sherry paste, stir in your beef broth.
Add the thyme (dried will do. I just happen to have a thyme plant on my back deck.) and then the salt and pepper to your liking.
Let it simmer on your stove for as long as you want, stirring periodically.
When you’re ready to serve, place thick cubes of good french, artisan or sourdough bread into an oven proof bowl, ladle the soup over the bread, and layer provolone and swiss cheese over the warm soup. Pop it under the oven broiler until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned. Serve (sitting on a cooler plate) and soak up the praise and admiration.
The last time I did onion soup, I happened to have some large artisan rolls in my freezer. I made them into bread bowls and serve the soup in that. It was really, really good. We all had two helpings.