Provencal French Onion Soup

cuisine French
difficulty Moderate
season Fall & Winter
serves 6

Ingredients

6 large yellow onions, thinly sliced 5 cups water 1 tablespoon veal or beef demi-glace 2 tablespoons chicken demi-glace 2 tablespoons unsalted butter Olive oil 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence 2 cups Gruyère, shredded Day old baguette or petite French square toast crackers

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2.  In a large dutch oven on medium low heat, add olive oil to coat bottom of pan. Add sliced onions and cook slowly until golden. If skillet gets dry, add more olive oil. This takes time, at least the better part of an hour to get the rich golden color.
  3.  When onions are ready, add water, both demi-glaces, butter, and herbes de Provence and bring broth to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
  4.  Divide soup into oven safe bowls. When ready to eat, place bread or French toast crackers on top of soup bowls.
  5.  Divide the shredded Gruyére over top of each bowl (be generous and cover the bread all the way to the edges of the bowls so the cheese melts over sides of bowls).
  6.  Place bowls on 1/2 sheet baking tray and place in the oven. Watch carefully until the cheese is bubbly and brown. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Kitchen Notes

Whole Foods sells the demi-glace brand "More than Gourmet"--it works great and once opened, may be refrigerated for several weeks. A handheld mandoline makes an easy, quick job of slicing the onions thinly and uniformly. Any yellow or Spanish onion will do, but use the sweet Vidalia onion when in season for even more nutty flavor, golden color and silky texture.