I wanted the rich loving and attentive depth that French onion soup demands with the satisfaction I demand when choosing to consume an entire bowl of onions. So as I started my soup, I decided I would start with the onions and make my less dehydrating and more satisfying adjustments along the way. I caramelized my onions last night since I had the time and with the thought of letting the onions sit overnight, in mind. I saved my chicken carcass from my first post on roasted chicken and made a simple chicken broth for my soup, adding in lots of fresh thyme to simmer for about 45 minutes in a four quart sauce pot. I strained the broth then added it to my onions, which I then let simmer for another 45 minutes or so without reducing it too much. I also decided to change the traditional four inch slice of bread and cheese lava for cheesy crostini instead. In the end, I found my dream bowl of French onion soup. Maybe you’ll find yours here, too.
Not Quite French Onion Soup
About 9 or 10 medium sized sweet onions, thinly sliced
Two large sprigs Fresh Thyme
Three quarts homemade chicken broth or two cans of chicken broth plus eight cups of water
Salt to taste
Day+ old loaf of bread thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic
Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil into a dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot, and warm on low heat. Peel, halve and thinly slice onions adding to the pot as you go. Season with salt, turn heat up and stir occasionally as onions start to brown. As they caramelize deglaze with about a quarter cup of water and stir, cook to au sec (dry) and repeat process until onions are a beautiful dark brown, about two hours. On final deglaze add about a quarter cup of vermouth in place of water and let cook down to demi sec (almost dry). Let cool and store covered in fridge overnight, if desired.
Add homemade chicken broth or canned chicken broth and water to onions and bring to a simmer. Let soup simmer uncovered about 20 minutes up to 45 minutes.
For the crostini: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Rub a clove of garlic cut in half over thinly sliced baguette. On a cookie sheet top crostini with a sliver of mozzarella, fresh thyme and some freshly grated parmigiano. Crisp in a 400 degree oven 5-10 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.
Season soup to taste and ladle into bowls, top with two or three crostini and enjoy.