French Onion Soup with Gruyere Croutons

There is not a finger, toe, or frosty nose that this recipe won’t warm up. A savory classic usually reserved for neighborhood cafes, French Onion Soup is actually the perfect recipe to make at home in the middle of winter. Simmer this slowly tonight – the longer the better for more intense flavor – and decorate it to order with hunky homemade croutons, an extra crispy upgrade to the usual slice of bread.

Yield: 6-8 bowls , Prep time: 15 minutes , Cook time: up to 2 hours

Ingredients

Instructions

1. First, prep your onions: remove the ends and the outer layers; halve and thinly slice.
2. Bring a large soup pot to medium-high heat and drizzle in your olive oil. Add your sliced onions and place a lid on the pot; cook until the onions are translucent, about 20 minutes. When they are tender, remove the lid and continue to sauté the onions until they are golden brown and caramelized. (Be careful not to let them burn.)
3. Carefully pour in the whiskey (slowly, to lessen the risk of the alcohol flaming up), white wine, dried bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
4. Now add the beef broth, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 1-2 hours.
5. As the soup simmers, prep the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cube the bread into large chunks, spread on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Pop into the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the bread starts to crisp. Once the first side is toasted, remove from the oven and flip; return to the oven.
6. When the croutons are crispy on all sides, remove from the oven and generously shred the gruyere on top.
7. As the cheese melts onto the toast, season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle it up and mound the gruyere croutons over each serving. Serve right away.

Tips + Tricks

**Play with the croutons by using different breads to start. Loaves with whole cloves of garlic, herb focaccias, even simple sourdoughs are delicious ways to mix things up.

THE SPREAD