You don’t have to do the croque-monsieur croutons and just use the onion soup part of this Bon Appetit recipe, but just as it is makes a great and different than regular onion soup. If you do skip the croque monsieur, don’t forget to add some bread to the soup, and some cheese on top and broil it before serving. You have to have cheese with onion soup:)
You always need a heavy skillet or a crock pot to caramelize the onions, otherwise you will be spending a lot of time either waiting for it to get ready or burn it in the process. Slicing the onions really thin and cooking over medium heat will also help the caramelizing.
Here are some things to keep in mind. Try to use Vidalia onions, it makes a great difference in taste. Don’t substitute beef broth with chicken broth, it doesn’t work for onion soup; and if you can find low sodium organic etc, even better. Don’t use margarine instead of butter. Use the best white wine you like drinking, and definitely use brandy, don’t skip it.
3 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
4 14 1/2-ounce cans beef broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 to 2 tablespoons brandy
18 1/3-inch-thick slices of French bread baguette
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
1 cup coarsely chopped ham
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until dark brown but not burned, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Add broth, wine, and mustard and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until flavors blend, about 15 minutes.
Add brandy to taste and simmer 5 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Arrange bread on baking sheet. Broil until beginning to color, about 1 minute. Mound cheese and ham on bread; sprinkle with pepper. Broil until cheese melts, turning sheet for even cooking, about 2 minutes.
Ladle soup into deep bowls. Top each with 3 croutons and serve.
Makes 6 servings.