3poundsyellow onions, peeled and sliced about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick
2tablespoonsall purpose flour
1teaspoondried thyme(or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme)
3/4teaspoonsalt(or to taste)
6.5cupsunsalted beef broth
6slicesbread(your favourite bread)
1.5 - 2cupsshredded gruyere cheese(about 6 to 8 ounces)
fresh thyme leaves(garnish, optional)
In a large pot or high sided pot (I used a large enameled dutch oven) on medium low heat add butter and olive oil. When butter is melted add 1/3 of onions. Stir to coat in butter and oil and cook 5 minutes, stirring periodically.
After 5 minutes, add another 1/3 of onions, stir and cook 5 minutes. Continue with remaining 1/3 of onions. Note: Because we are caramelizing a lot of onions here, I like to add in batches rather than all at once.
Cook for about 45 minutes in total, checking on every 5 minutes or so, ensuring they aren't burning and scraping brown bits on bottom of pan and incorporating into onions. Every once in a while, add a splash of hot water to loosen any excessive brown bits and encourage the onions to cook, no more than 1/4 cup at a time (up to a cup in total).
After about 45 minutes, add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes.
Once you've reached your desired caramelization, deglaze onions with wine. Stir, scrapping up any more brown bits. Cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in thyme, salt and pepper.
Stir in flour and cook 2-3 minutes.
Pour in broth, Worcestershire sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Stir. Bring to a light simmer and cook 15-20 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Portion into bowls.
Brush each slice of bread with a little avocado oil (optional) and place on top of soup. Distribute cheese among bread slices. Place bowls on a baking tray.
Set oven to broil and cook until cheese is melted and a little golden. Carefully remove and garnish with fresh thyme, if desired. Enjoy! Serves 4-6.Note: If you don't have oven safe bowls, omit putting the bowls in the oven. Rather portion out the soup and toast the bread with cheese separately, putting on top of the soup when serving.
This soup is super simple, but does take time (especially because there are caramelized onions involved). Just have some patience and it will be well worth it!
Like with any soup, use a good quality broth. Homemade beef broth would be awesome, but if you don't have that use a quality store-bought variety.
Speaking of broth, I used an 'unsalted' variety. If you use 'regular' or 'low sodium' consider adjusting the salt added.
If you are opting to broil the cheesy toast in the oven on top of the soup, don't fill those bowls to the brim. Once you add the bread, it will displace some of the liquid.
Opt for a hearty bread that can whole up to broth. I like focaccia or ciabatta (or something similar). Of course, no matter what you put on there it will absorb some liquid (which is awesome), but you don't want to use a basic white bread here.
Use a sheet pan to make things easier for putting those bowls in the oven and taking them out. Plus, the sheet pan will catch any spills = less clean up.
Nutrition (estimate only) based on 1.5 cups of cheese and 6 servings.