What to serve to that friend who won’t stop complaining about the cold…
Yes, we know most of the country is an arctic tundra at the moment. Even here in the south we recently had a wind chill of -4 (excuse me?). Basically the only thing to do is hunker down and pray for spring. Or you could make this to warm you up, and no, I’m not just talking about the sherry that’s involved.
It’s way easier than you think to whip up this classic soup. You can easily make it after work, and I’m one to know since I just get so tired after work these days (insert my excuse for not exercising). The secret to this recipe is using a super flavorful beef base as the broth. I am fully obsessed with Better Than Bouillon bases for all things stock, broth, reductions and sauces. Enter their beef base. To really nail this dish, focus on taking that extra few minutes to really caramelize the onions to your taste preference and use your favorite bread and cheese as the topping.
What you’ll need:
2-3 large onions, sliced thin
2 tbs. butter
1 tbs olive oil
salt & pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1-2 bay leaves
fresh thyme (if you don't have fresh, dried is fine)
½ cup dry sherry
6 cups beef stock
sliced baguette (the asiago parmesan cheese baguette from Trader Joe’s is heaven with this, just sayin’)
- shredded gruyere cheese
Here’s how to do it:
Start by melting the butter and oil together on low heat. Add the sliced onions and sprinkle with a dash of salt & pepper and the sugar. Continue to simmer on lowish heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once onions are creamy and deliciously caramelized (TRY one! You’ll know when they are done, trust me), add the sherry to the pan and start to deglaze, meaning, scrape all the goodness from the bottom of the pan and stir around till the sherry absorbs. Add the beef stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Let that concoction simmer for about 10 minutes to get everything nicely acquainted.
Meanwhile, set your oven broiler on HI (oven-abbreviated term).
Pour soup into small (adorable & tiny!) oven-proof bowls, top with a sliced chunks of your favorite baguette and some nutty gruyere shredded cheese to make croutons. Broil until bubbly and golden brown (you’ll know what I’m talkin’ about) and then its thyme that you top it with some chopped fresh thyme. i know, i’ll stop now.
Pairs well with:
a fresh and nicely balanced Chardonnay, like one of my favorites from Cakebread.