1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large, onions skinned, halved and sliced as thin as possible
½ teaspoon dried thyme or 3 or 4 fresh sprigs
3 tablespoons flour
½ cup dry white wine
6 cups hot beef commercial stock
½ cup Gruyere cheese, grated (also known as Swiss)
4 to 6 slices of French-style bread, toasted
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Parsley chopped fine
1. In a large saucepan, caramelize (sauté until golden brown) the onions in the butter and oil over medium to low heat, stirring occasionally. This will take 10 to 20 minutes. Add the thyme at the end of this process.
2. When the onions are caramelized and the bottom of the pan is all sticky, add flour, stirring it in well, and cook about one minute. Add wine to deglaze, then hot beef broth, and bring the soup to a simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place toasted French-style bread in soup bowls, followed by a few tablespoons of grated cheese, then a ladle of simmering soup. Garnish with parsley.
Butter in this soup adds flavor but you don’t need much due to the cheese.
Also olive oil or any oil combined with butter stops the butter from burning.
I like to use white onions as they are higher in sugar content and caramelize better. You may add a teaspoon of sugar to the onions to hasten the caramelizing process.
Use the best possible Swiss / Gruyere cheese as this is a large part of the recipe’s taste.
Use very little salt if you use commercial stock.
In this recipe you have learned to caramelize and deglaze, or lift sticky bits from the bottom of the soup pot, to greatly enhance the flavor of your soup.