Just smelling French onion soup makes a mouth start watering. If you’ve never tried making this soup at home, you’re in for a real treat. It takes a bit of time to allow the ingredients to simmer together, but the wait is well worth it, and the effort is minimal. We start with thinly sliced onions, browned slowly in butter, and then create a wine reduction with dry sherry and juniper berries.
Next we simmer in a rich beef broth and some seasoning. Lastly, our recipe is baked with 4 different melted cheeses and crispy, golden baguette croutons. Pull up a chair, pick up a spoon and dip into some delightful French onion goodness.
Peel and cut the onion into thin slices.
Peel and mince the garlic.
Cut baguette into ½ inch slices.
Using a cheese grater, grate the cheeses over a medium sized mixing bowl. Use your fingers to mix cheeses together. Set aside for later.
In a dutch oven or heavy skillet, heat butter over medium-high. Cover and cook onions until they become very soft (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Uncover and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking over low, stirring frequently now, until onions are browned (45 – 60 minutes). If onions begin to dry out, add small amounts of water as needed.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Then stir in the sherry and bring to a boil. Cook over medium-high until sherry has reduced by half, and then add the following:
pinch of salt
Cover again and simmer over low for 45 – 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly greased foil. Butter both sides of the bread and lay them out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Toast the bread until golden and crisp on both sides (about 15 minutes). Turn bread halfway through the toasting time.
Lower your oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
When the soup is done cooking, ladle into ovenproof bowls (or oversized ovenproof mugs). Fish out bay leaves and juniper berries.
Sprinkle ½ of the grated cheese on top of your soup. Place 2 – 3 slices of toasted bread on top of cheese and then sprinkle the remainder of your cheese over the bread slices.
Place bowls on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted and beginning to bubble.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.