If jumping on a plane to Paris so you can grab a bowl of French onion soup at Pied de Cochon is a bit extravagant then make some at home. The classic recipe is with white wine, but I like to use a full bodied red and port for a much bolder taste.
I think the star of this dish is the warm and elegant taste of the silky soup with braised onions, thyme and all the other flavors that come alive. I shy away from layering a mound of shredded gruyere cheese on top of baguette slices and then broiling until it oozes over the side. Not only do I think it takes away from the soup but trying to clean the bowls after is a disaster. The solution? Easy to make gruyere crisps put into the soup just before serving or on the side.
- 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 10 sprigs of Thyme
- 2 Turkish bay leaves
- 5 yellow onions, sliced
- 1 large shallot, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 cup of red wine, full bodied
- 1 cup ruby porto, separated in half
- 3 1/2 teaspoons of all purpose flour
- 2 quarts off beef stock
- 4 beef bouillon cubes
- Chives for garnising
- Gruyere crisps
- Place a dutch oven over a medium-high flame, melt the butter with the thyme, bay leaves stirring and let the herbs flavors infuse the butter.
- Add the onions, shallot, garlic, salt and pepper, stir and cook for ten minutes, stirring frequently then lower the flame to medium, cook for another 30 minutes until the onions golden brown
- Put the beef stock into a pan and add the bouillon cubes, bring to boil until they dissolve, remove from heat. This makes for a more robust beef stock
- Add the wine and 1/2 cup of the ruby red wine to the onions, cook until the wine has evaporated, remove the thyme and bay leaves, add the flour and stir occasionally for 10 minutes, add the stock and cook for another 10 minutes, finish off with salt, pepper and the remaining 1/2 cup of port
- If you can let the soup rest for 4 hours so the flavors intensify, re-heat and serve with gruyere crisps