|Onions ready to go in the oven.|
|After I took them out of the oven.|
|Onion soup ready to go in the bowls with crusty bread and cheese.|
|The finished bread bowl full of soup!|
French Onion Soup
3 tbsp. butter
3-6 large onions (depending on how much you like chucks of onion)
1 tsp. salt
2 cups water
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup cooking wine
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp. fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
bread bowls or crusty bread
Adjust oven rack to a lower middle position and heat oven to 400*. Cut onions in half and slice pole to pole. Once onions are sliced put butter, onions and salt in a large dutch oven. Cook covered for 1 hour. Onions will be moist and slightly reduced. Remove pot from oven and stir, scraping down bottom and sides. Return pot to oven with lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until onions are very soft and golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer, stirring pot every once in a while.
Remove pan from oven and place over medium high heat. Cook onions stirring frequently and scrapping bottom and sides of pot, until liquid evaporates and onions brown, 15-20 minutes. (Remember to use oven mist your pot it HOT!!!) Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until pot bottom is coated with a dark fond about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping bottom of pot to losses fond and cook until water evaporates and the bottom of the pot has formed another dark fond 6-8 minutes. Repeat process of deglazing pot 2 to 3 more times, until onions are very dark brown.
Stir in wine and balsamic vinegar, stirring frequently until wine evaporates about 5 minutes. Stir in broths, water, fresh herbs and bay leaf (tie with string for easy removal) and 1/2 tsp. salt, scraping up and final bits of fond on the bottom of pot.
Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove herbs and season with salt and black pepper to taste. For the croutons, arrange crusty bread slices on a baking sheet and bake in a 400* oven for about 10 minutes or until the bread is dry and edges are golden brown.
To serve place heat safe bowls on a baking sheet and fill with soup. Top each bowl with crusty bread and provolone cheese. Place in the oven under a broiler and cook until brown and bubbly on top. Cool slightly and serve.