Spring has almost sprung down here in the South, so I’m sneaking in my last warm and hearty dinners before it gets to warm. I eat a steaming bowl of soup for lunch whenever the temperature dips below 70 degrees. And if I can make a savory pot of homemade deliciousness for dinner, even better.
Cook Time: about an hour
Serves : 4 main course bowls
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 medium onions (I prefer Vidalia, but any sweet or yellow variety will do)
- 1 48 oz. container beef broth/stock (or vegetable if you are meat-free)
- 1 14 oz. can chicken stock (or vegetable)
- 1/2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
- 4 slices hearty bread (cibatta or artisan) OR croutons
- 4 slices cheese (fonitna, smoked gouda, gruyere, or muenster are all good)
- 1 generous tablespoon brandy
- salt and pepper to taste
Slice the onions — the thinner the better. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add the onions and cook with the lid on, stirring every few minutes, for at least 10 minutes (just tender) to 30 minutes (caramelized). Your call, but the longer, the sweeter and more tender they will be. Add in the garlic and Herbs de Provence about the last 2 minutes and stir.
Deglaze the pan with the brandy (scrape up all the good little burnt bits from the pan). Add the broth. Simmer soup for at least 20 minutes, or until onions are melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Meanwhile, if you are using bread, lightly butter and season with garlic, if you so desire. Toast lightly. Cut into cubes.
Preheat broiler. Ladle soup evenly between 4 ovenproof bowls. Spread bread or croutons over the top. Cover with cheese. Broil for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly browned and bubbling.
Garnish with fresh chives or green onions, if you have any on hand.
Serve with fresh bread or sandwiches for a savory meal.