I absolutely love this tender onion and cheese soup with a light hint of spices and dry white wine. It is very good choice for home dinner party or romantic dinner just for you two.
You can prepare most of the steps in advance (from step 1 to step 9), then pour soup to the bowls, add bread and cheese and put them to the oven right before serving. That will save you a bit of time and ensure every meal comes fresh and warm at the right time.
My advice would be to use home prepared broth, cooked with good quality beef, carrots, onions, parsley and celery for this soup. If you need some hints on how to prepare beef broth, follow these instructions.
- 3 big onions (white, yellow, red, any to taste)
- 1 quart of clear beef broth
- ½ cup of dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 pieces of white bread
- 4 oz of shredded cheese of your choice (I took a mix of swiss cheese and a bit of parmesan)
- 3 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon of thyme
- Ground black pepper
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt to taste
- Olive oil
How to prepare, step-by-step:
- Prepare ingredients: cook beef stock in advance, cover cooking pot with a lid leaving small hole between pot and lid and pour about 1 quart to the separate cooking pot leaving vegetables and meat behind, you will not need them for this recipe.
- Cooking onions is the most important, time consuming and tricky part of this recipe. Start by warming up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a big skillet with high sides over moderate high heat. Peel onions and slice them, lengthwise. Move them to the skillet and start frying, the heat is high so it is important to stir so onions don’t burn:
- About 10 minutes into the process season onions with a pinch of sugar to help them gain brown color. Then continue frying and stirring until onions are good caramelized (the process may take up to 30 mins):
- Reduce heat. Peel garlic and press it to the skillet with onions, mix and fry for about 1 minute:
- Then add all flour, mix and fry them together for 5 mins more:
- Add about ½ cup of dry white wine and let it simmer for 5-8 mins:
- Add bay leaves, thyme and season with black pepper:
- Pour beef stock in, add salt to taste, mix everything and bring to boil. Then cover with a lid and reduce heat. Simmer soup lightly for about 30-40 mins:
- Toast bread in toster, or in the oven:
- Pour soup to the oven-safe bowls using a ladle:
- Put toasted white bread to each soup bowl:
- Add shredded cheese on the bread and a bit around, to taste (I love a lot of cheese for this soup):
- Preheat oven to 350 F (if your oven has broiler mode – use it), then put soup bowls to the oven:
- After about 10 mins (or once cheese is good melted, bubbly and a bit browned in color) remove soup bowls from the oven and serve (carefully soup bowls will be most probably hot!):
Tips & Advices:
- Boiled beef used to cook meat broth for this recipe can be used to prepare following dishes.