Individual French onion soup crocks are filled to the brim with a full bodied homemade beef broth and caramelized onions. Top with a thick slice of crusty french bread and cheese, and broil until the cheese melts and gets golden brown.
Ingredients for Broth:
- 2 pounds meaty beef soup bones
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- 6 peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp thyme
- 5 springs fresh parsley
- 1 tsp Worcshetershire sauce
- 1 tsp Soya sauce
- 1/4 cup cooking sherry
- 8 cups water
Ingredients for caramelized onions:
- 5 cups thinly sliced Vadalia or yellow onions
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp sugar
Ingredients for bread and cheese topping:
- 6 slices of thick french bread
- 6 thick slices Gruyere, Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese
Method for making broth:
- Coarsely chop carrots, celery and onion.
- Place beef bones and vegetable chunks on a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with oil.
- Roast in 450º oven for 30 minutes.
- Put water and remaining ingredients in a large stock pot. Add the roasted bones and vegetables to the pot, scraping any brown bits from the roasting pan and adding to the pot.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 3-4 hours.
- Line a large colander with cheesecloth. Place a large bowl underneath and carefully pour hot broth through. (I find that placing the bowl and colander in the sink is a safe way to pour the hot liquid)
- If using immediately, scrape fat off the top. If using at a later date, chill broth. Once the broth has chilled the fat will rise to the top making it easy to skim off.
Method for caramelizing onions:
- Over medium heat melt butter. Add sliced onions and sprinkle with sugar.
- Stir until onions begin to sweat.
- Turn heat to low and allow onions to cook down and caramelize stirring every 5 minutes. This precess will take approximately 45-50 minutes. The onions will become a deep golden brown.
- Add caramelized onions to hot broth and simmer together for 30 minutes.
- To serve, ladle soup into oven proof individual soup crocks.
- Place french bread sliced onto a baking sheet and broil on both sides until toasted.
- Place filled crocks onto baking sheet and float one slice of toasted bread on soup.
- Top with generous slices of cheese.
- Leaving oven rack at regular height turn oven to broil. Place baking sheet with filled crocks in oven to broil. Keeping an eye on it, broil until cheese it bubbly and golden .
- Remove hot crocks onto plate with a serviette on it so that the plate does not crack from the heat of the crocks.
****If you don't have oven proof crocks, use soup bowl omitting the broiling step. For this method toast the bread with the cheese first and then just place a cheese toast onto each bowl of soup.*****