It's been cold and rainy all week, so I wanted to make a simple, warm, one-pot dish for dinner. Since I am forever crushing on Tyler Florence, I browsed his recipes from Tyler's Ultimate and stumbled upon his version of French onion soup. I say "his version," but after some research, I found that his recipe is more or less the standard.
The best part of making this soup? I made a half-batch, which means that I only needed 1/2 cup of red wine, leaving the rest of the bottle for me to drink (convenient!). After having a bowl of soup, some bites of Italian sausage, and a bottle of wine, I have to admit scooping some onions from the pot of soup and piling them on a slice of leftover baguette was a brilliant idea (but you didn't hear it from me!).
French Onion Soup: Half-batch Version
Heavily inspired by Tyler Florence's recipe
1/4 c unsalted butter
2-2 1/4 pounds onions,* sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 c red wine**
1 heaping T all-purpose flour
1 quart high quality beef broth
1/4 pound Gruyere
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized (this took about 35 minutes for me). Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Dust the onions with the flour 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.
In the meantime, grate the Gruyere (or peel into ribbons using a vegetable peeler, as I did) and top the baguette slices (be generous!). Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Top off your bowls of soup with the cheesy baguette, and you're done!
*I looked all over the Internet to find out what kind of onions to use, and no one knows. Yellow (non-sweet, i.e. not Vidalias) seemed to be the most common recommendation, followed by red onions. I chose to use both--two yellow and one red.
**I used a mid-range Washington Merlot, though any reasonably dry, red wine that you would drink (important!) would be delicious.