onions

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French onion soup This is possibly Trish’s most favorite soup in the whole wide world. There’s something irresistible about bread and caramelized onions and melted cheese.

  • 5 pounds yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced from pole to pole
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup dried sherry or vermouth
  • a bundle of thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 baguette slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups Gruyère cheese, freshly grated

Put dutch oven or pot over high heat. Add sugar to pan and melt into caramel, swirling so it doesn’t burn. Add onions, and toss to coat with caramel for about 30 seconds. Add butter, baking soda, and 2 teaspoons salt. Keep it on high heat and cook until onions start browning on the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes.  Add a tablespoon or two of water and scrape up the browning gunk at the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until the gunk builds up again, add more water, and scrape. Repeat process until the onions become are evenly brown with the consistency of jam. This will take about 20 – 25 minutes. Add stock, sherry or vermouth, and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush baguette with olive oil and toast on baking sheet for five minutes on each side. Ladle the soup and onions into oven-safe bowls. Top with toasts and cover with shredded cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese is completely melted. Pop under the broiled and get it all brown and bubbly, if you feel like it. Serve your cheesy french onion soup with a branch of thyme.  Let cool until it will no longer burn your tongue – this is important. Devour.

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