French Onion Soup (Soup a' I'Oignon Gatinee)

Time to resurrect an old favorite from almost 5 years ago when this blog first started. We have so many new readers, I thought it was time for us to share this treasure of a recipe again. 

When the Nelson's lived in France, Peggy bought a small little french cookbook called "The Best of France" at Harrods in London.  It's a family favorite. Every recipe is amazingly great. So for your dining pleasure, here is the best french onion soup recipe you'll ever encounter: 

1 1/2 lbs thinly sliced onions, about 3 large onions.  * see note
3 Tbs. butter
1/8 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. flour
6 cups beef stock
1/2 cup white wine
Bouquet Garni *  see note
8 slices french bread ( I use baguette)
melted butter
 garlic halved
1 cup grated Gruyere 
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

IN a large pot over medium heat, cook onions in butter with salt and a little pepper.  Stir occasionally until soft.  Add sugar and continue to stir until onions become  golden brown, Careful don't let burn.  Add flour and continue to cook 3 more minutes.  Add stock, wine and bouquet garni.  Cook partially covered for 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350.  Arrange bread on a baking sheet brushing with melted butter on both sides.  Bake for 15 minutes,  turning over half way through until golden brown.  When just out of oven, cut a  garlic clove in half and rub each piece of bread with the garlic.

Remove the Bouquet garni from the soup and pour the soup into ovenproof bowls.   Place the toasted bread on top of each bowl.  Depending on the size of bread you may need to use 2 pieces of bread per bowl.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake the soup for 15 minutes.  Then turn on the broiler to high.  Broil the cheese until browned and bubbling.  Watch closely.     Serves 4

Don't let a word like "Bouquet Garni" scare you from a recipe.  What your basically doing is putting some herbs in a small package,  like cheese cloth.   In this recipe I just throw in 2 bay leaves, a piece of celery,  about 1/2 tsp dried thyme and a sprig or 2 of parsley.  Then at the end I fish out the bay leaf and maybe the parsley and celery.

 Bon Appetite!