As a kid we frequented a little restaurant in Long Grove, IL known then as Pond View.
They liked to serve all their soups with a little container of Goldfish crackers. Or maybe they just did that for the kids? Oh man, but the sight and smell of that soup coming out with its bubbling cheese and bread nestled into those old school brown earthen ware bowls is the stuff of memories. So when I see French Onion soup on a menu I think a autumn day walking around with my Mom and sisters (and sometimes Aunts!) around Long Grove, feeding the ducks on the pond and enjoying this soup and their company.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1.5-2 hrs
Makes: 6-8 servings
5-6 Cups Yellow Onions, sliced thin
4 TBL Olive Oil
2 TBL Unsalted Butter (we personally love Kerry Gold)
1 tsp Raw Sugar
6 C Beef Stock (link to our recipe)
1 C white wine
3 TBL Flour
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp Sage, ground
1 Bay Leaf
2-4 Tbl Cognac
French Bread, about 8 dried slices
1 Tbl cooking oil
Provolone Cheese, slices or grated enough to cover bowl
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Drizzle both sides of french bread slices with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet. Cook the bread in the oven for 15 minutes on each side. Set aside until soup is ready.
Heat a heavy, oven-safe, stock pot over medium-low heat. Melt butter and oil. When pan is smoking, add your onions and coat them evenly with the oil/butter mixture. Sprinkle the onions with sugar (this will help them caramelize). Cover the stock pot, reduce temperature to very low and cook for at least 1 hour. Check pot often and turn and stir onions and recover. Onions are ready when they are evenly browned (caramel in color).
Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in 3 Tbsp flour. Cook 2-3 minutes until flour forms a thick paste (add more butter if needed). Stir in 1 cup of beef stock, and stir heavily for a couple seconds.
Add the rest of the stock, wine, sage, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Taste soup, and add salt and pepper as needed, then remove the bay leaf.
Place 6-8 OVEN PROOF bowls on sheet pan and ladle out soup evenly. Place 1 slice of dried bread and 1 slice/grated Provolone on top of bowl.
Broil for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is nicely bubbly and browned. Remove from heat and let bowls cool!
Enjoy on a crisp autumn day with some classic Goldfish crackers!