Today I was convinced that following a [French] recipe to the “T” is of utmost importance. I did not shortcut on time for simmering or cooking, nor did I shortcut color on browning. The result: a deep, rich flavor characterizing a perfect brew!
The Key to Developing an Excellent Onion Soup: Long, slow cooking in butter and oil, then a long, slow simmering in stock.
Count on 2.5-3 hours.
1 1/2 lbs. or about 5 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions
3 Tb butter
1 Tb oil
A heavy-bottomed, 4 -quart covered sauce pan
Cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil in the covered saucepan for 15 minutes.
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar (helps the onions to brown)
Uncover, raise heat to moderate, and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook for 30-40 minutes stirring frequently, until the onions have turned an even deep, golden brown.
3 Tb flour Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 minutes
2 quarts boiling brown stock
1/2 C dry white wine or dry vermouth
salt and pepper to taste
Off heat, blend in the boiling liquid. Add the wine, and season to taste. Simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes or more, skimming occasionally. Correct seasoning.
(*) [At this point you may] Set aside uncovered until ready to serve. Then reheat to a simmer.
3 Tb cognac
Rounds of hard-toasted French bread
1-2 cups grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese
Just before serving, stir in the cognac. Pour into a soup tureen or soup cups over the rounds of bread and pass the cheese separately.