French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

makes 6 small servings

Like most French recipes this one incorporates wine—not once, but twice! If you’re not accustomed to cooking with wine, this is an easy recipe for beginners; remember to cook with wine you’d drink. With a light but complex flavor, this is the perfect soup for a fall dinner.

1/4 cup olive oil
4 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced 1/4 in. thick
1 Tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
2 sprigs rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 qts. chicken stock
1/2 cup port (or sweet after-dinner wine)
6 thick slices bread, toasted
1 cup grated Gruyére cheese

In a 5-quart heavy-bottom pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté until golden brown, stirring frequently to prevent burning; it may take 15–20 minutes for all of the onions to turn golden brown. Add butter, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, to release the flavor of the garlic and herbs, about 5 minutes.

Raise the heat to high. Add the white wine and bring to a boil, then boil to reduce the wine by half. Add the chicken stock and lower the heat to a simmer; partially cover the pot and cook until onions are very soft, 30–45 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and rosemary stems and stir in the port to finish the soup. Ladle into small oven-proof bowls, top with toasted bread and a sprinkle of cheese. Slip the bowls under the broiler until the cheese has melted. Cool slightly before serving.

Julie publishes Edible Ohio Valley with her family. After 15 years in the world of commercial photography, her lens is now focused on recording the sustainability movement in the Midwest. A graduate of UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, she’s a partner and co-founder of The Fairview Agency, a multidisciplinary creative firm.