In the colder months, I could live on soup. I've got a bunch of favorites I turn to over and over again. Lamb and Lentil Soup, Potato Leek and Scotch Broth are two that are favorites here at our farm. When I can score some farm raised beef bones from fellow farmers, I make beef stock. Last week, our neighbor Debbie was cleaning out her freezer and she passed some on to me. It didn't take me long to decide what I was going to make.
This recipe came from Lisa White who is married to Tom White, a local potter. We went to a fantastic Pottery Open House a few years back and Lisa served the soup to guests. It was so delicious I couldn't stop thinking about it. I finally got up the nerve to ask for the recipe and today I'd like to share it with you. To make it easier to eat, I cut the toasted bread up into small pieces and then cover with cheese. The pieces are then floated on top of the soup. By all means, do it the traditional way if you prefer. Gruyere cheese is traditionally used but I use Swiss because it is easier for me to find at our grocery store. I have also used chicken stock instead of beef stock and it is delicious although not as traditional.
The Potter's Wife's French Onion Soup
1/2 cup butter
4 large onions
2 garlic cloves - chopped
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons thyme
salt + pepper
1 cup red wine
3 heaping Tablespoons flour
2 quarts homemade beef broth - HOT
several slices good quality country style bread
several slices swiss cheese
Slice the onions into pieces approximately 1/4" thick. (I use my Cuisinart.) Carmelize onions in butter with garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper for 30 minutes. Add flour and brown. Add wine, stir with a whisk and cook until wine is evaporated. Add heated beef stock. Simmer for 15 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, toast the bread. Butter the toast. Cut the bread into approximately 1" squares and place on a cookie sheet. Arrange them closely together. Place the swiss cheese on top of the toast. Broil until bubbling.
Fill the bowls with the soup. Float the cheese covered bread on top of the soup. Enjoy!