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How to make French onion soup

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French onion soup is a classic dish invented in the Les Halles market in Paris. Late at night (or early in the morning, depending on how you look at it) workers would need a hearty dish to help them stay full for the hours of work ahead of them. Cheap and filling, the recipe below fit the bill.
The secret to a good French onion soup is to caramelize the onions well before adding the broth. The best French onion soups are made with homemade beef broth, which you can prepare by purchasing soup bones from a butcher and simmering them low and slow for several hours. If you don't have time for that, a good-quality store-bought broth will work fine.
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Cooktop Cove
French Onion Soup
4
10 minutes
1 hour
1 hour 10 minutes
1/2 cup butter
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup white wine
2 quarts beef broth
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
5 black peppercorns
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
1/2 pound Gruyère cheese, grated
Melt the butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed soup pot.
Add the onions and the sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes.
Put in the white wine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by half.
Add the beef broth.
Wrap the bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns in a bit of cheesecloth and tie with a string. Add to the broth.
Bring the soup to a boil, and reduce to a simmer and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into oven-proof bowls. Place a slice or two of baguette in each one, and top with cheese.
Broil until the cheese is melted and caramelized.
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