In France they just call this onion soup.
One of my favorite cookbooks is one I picked up in Paris more than 20 years ago. I got it in a small bookshop across from the Luxembourg Gardens: one of my favorite spots for coffee and a walk.
It’s written by French chef Paul Bocuse and it’s called “French Home Cooking.” It has the best French Onion Soup recipe: one that’s easy and pretty quick too.
Don’t worry about making your own beef stock just buy your favorite store brand. Although you don’t need individual soup crocks it’s fun to have them and you can probably pick up some cheap at a dollar store, the Christmas Tree Shop, Target, Sears or online at Amazon and eBay.
Stir the onions from time to time as they cook.
- Butter (2 ounces)
- Onions (About two medium, peeled and sliced into circles)
- Flour (About one ounce)
- Beef Stock (or bouillon or even water. I’ve never used water but Mr. Bocuse says it works) (About 2 1/2 pints)
- French Bread (Two slices per serving, toasted)
- Gruyere Cheese (About 3 1/2 ounces grated)
- Pepper (To taste)
- Breadcrumbs (About an ounce)
- Port (optional) (About 1/4 cup)
Melt half of the butter in a large saucepan.
Add onions, breaking them into rings. Cook until lightly brown or just starting to turn lightly brown.
Stir in the flour, scraping the bottom of the pan so the flour doesn’t stick.
When flour starts to turn brown add the beef stock and stir constantly. Cook over moderate heat for about 15 minutes. Stir in (optional) port about half-way through.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a soup tureen or in separate french onion soup crocks create two or three layers of the following: bread, cheese, pepper and sliver of butter.
Then top it off with breadcrumbs and more cheese.
Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese and breadcrumbs have browned.
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