This is one of my favorite fall dishes; here in California we are still waiting on our fall weather and even though they claim it is coming soon I got a little overly excited on one slightly cooler day and had to break out this soup. It does take some time but that’s really it. Plus there is the added bonus of those onions roasting in the oven, which makes your whole house smell amazing. It’s warming and rich and cheesy and salty and something about it just screams fall to me. So even if the weather hasn’t quite made up its mind, at least with this, a girl can pretend.
This soup is the perfect partner for a rich but earthy Pinot Noir. Soup can be notoriously difficult to pair with since it is hard to pair a liquid with a liquid but this soup, with the bread and the cheese has enough body and richness not to be lost in the wine. A Pinot with dark, rich fruits matches nicely with the richness of the cheese while the sweet, earthy onions and herbs laced through out this soup help bring forth some of the more earthy and herbal qualities in the Pinot which gives everything a really lovely balance.
Adapted from Saveur: The New Comfort Food
- 1 cup white wine
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6 sprigs flat leaf parsley
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 quarts beef stock
- 12 baguette slices
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 6 cups grated Gruyere
- 2 cups grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine the onion, wine, sugar, salt and pepper, and 8 tablespoons of butter in a casserole dish and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the onions are just beginning to brown, about 40 minutes. Then cover the casserole dish with foil and continue roasting, still occasionally stirring up the mixture, for another hour.
Bundle together the parsley, thyme, and bay leaves and combine with stock in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
As the broth is simmering spread the baguette slices with remaining butter and toast until golden. Allow to cool a little and then rub the bread with the garlic cloves.
To assemble the soup, heat a broiler with an oven rack placed about 6-8 inches away Divide the onion mixture evenly among heat proof bowls and do the same with the broth, make sure you have removed the herb bundle by this point. Top the mixture with 2 slices of baguette and the two cheeses. Broil until the cheeses are brown and bubbly on top, about 4 minutes.