By Crystal Grobe

One of my favorite things to make is French onion soup. I enjoy watching the onions slowly caramelize, and fragrant herbs rosemary and thyme fill the house with warm and familiar scents. Luckily at this time of year, we can keep the windows open to avoid having the house smell like onions for days afterward. Add an essential splash of white wine, baguette slices and a layer of broiled cheese and you’ll have an amazing meal for a spring evening.

This recipe calls for four onions and depending on your love of onions, you might have some leftover for another recipe. I tend to save some for a pizza with toasted walnuts and bleu cheese. While caramelizing, it’s important to keep the heat somewhat low to avoid overcooking the onions but high enough so that you’re not tending to onions all day. I use a wide pan and it takes me approximately one hour to caramelize. Luckily, the soup comes together rather quickly so you could still squeeze this in for a weeknight meal.

French Onion Soup
(Serves 6)

2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 medium sweet white onions
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
6 cups vegetable, chicken, or beef stock
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 cup dry white wine
6 slices baguette, toasted
1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large, wide pan over medium heat. Add the onions, rosemary, and thyme and spread out as much as possible. Once onions start to soften, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 45 minutes to one hour, stirring occasionally until onions become golden. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and discard herbs.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large stockpot, bring stock to a boil and add onions, parsley and white wine. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

In ovenproof bowls, place slices of baguette in each bowl. Ladle sup into the bowls and sprinkle cheeses evenly over top. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Turn oven to broil and cook for 1-2 minutes until cheese is lightly browned.

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