One of my favorite soups to make and eat is good old French Onion. Hit and miss when you go out to eat, especially when it tastes like a salt mine, this is one simple soup to make at home. The recipe is from Tyler Florence on Food TV. I prefer using low sodium broth so that you can control the salt levels yourself.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle, please get something you would drink
3 heaping tbsp all-purpose flower
2 quarts beef broth, low sodium
1 baguette, sliced
1/2lb grated Gruyere
Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes, but may take longer.
Add the wine and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme springs.
Dust the onions with the flower and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.
If you are doing a larger batch, the initial caramelizing of the onions may take quite a bit more time. But take your time and build up the flavors properly and everyone will eat it all up quickly.