I've spent a lot of time trying to perfect my recipe, and I think finally I have one that I'm happy with. Beef broth is a must (although I have made a good vegetarian version with vegetable broth and a splash of soy sauce). And the secret ingredient is red wine, reduced with the onions to intensify their flavor.
French Onion Soup
1/2 cup butter
3 onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
dash of thyme
1 small (187 ml) bottle red wine (I use Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 quart beef broth
slices of crusty sourdough
deli slices of Swiss cheese
Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onions, garlic and herbs. Cook for about a half hour, until the onions are brown and extremely soft. Add wine and simmer until wine has evaporated. Add beef broth and simmer while making your croutons.
To make the croutons, place slices of sourdough in a 350F oven until hard. (Alternately, just use stale bread.)
Pour the soup into individual oven-proof bowls. Place a crouton on top of each, followed by two slices of Swiss cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly.
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