This recipe is adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Volume 1). Note that, in place of the traditional Swiss or Gruyere, I chose goat cheese mozzarella. Unless you’re a convinced hater of goat cheese, I highly suggest you try it.
I also skipped the final browning of the cheese because I don’t have any large ramekins or oven-safe soup bowls. Honestly, it was just as good! In fact, I realized that I don’t even really enjoy the typical, melted cheese topping that much, as it always proves very difficult to eat with a spoon! This soup turned out so richly flavored that I didn’t feel I was missing anything at all.
Of course, if you do have oven-safe soup bowls, feel free to try it. You just assemble the bowls as usual and, instead of serving immediately, pop them under the broiler for a few minutes until the tops are nicely browned and bubbling.
4 cups yellow onions, very thinly sliced
3 tsp butter
1 Tbsp oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 qt beef stock
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsp brandy
1 Tbsp minced onion (raw)
additional salt and pepper to taste
2 cups croutons (I made my own from scratch)
1-2 cups finely grated goat cheese mozzarella
1. In a large stock pot, melt the butter and oil over medium low heat. Add the onions, stir, and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes, then uncover
2. Raise the heat to medium high, and sprinkle in the salt and sugar. Stir again and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the onions have turned a rich, golden brown. They will be very fragrant. Stir frequently to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
3. Once browned, sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir for a further couple of minutes. Pour in the stock, a little at a time, continually stirring. Add wine and additional salt and pepper to taste. Reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for another half hour or so. Taste to adjust cooking time or seasoning. The longer you cook it, the richer the flavors will be; but overcooking will result in a mushy mess. I think 30 minutes is ideal for this quantity of soup, but you could cook for up to 45 or so.
4. Stir in the brandy and raw minced onion. Ladle soup into serving bowls and pop in the croutons. Sprinkle with cheese, and serve immediately.