French Onion Soup

Damn is it cold outside!  We are in the midst of celebrating the season based on our traveling schedule.  Last night was Hanukkah.  The once a year making of latkes.  I could still smell them in my  hair when we went to bed last night.  This weekend is Christmas.  The entire family comes in.  We figure it is all a state of mind, not a state of the calendar. 

Tonight, I made a french onion soup because it was the easiest thing to make in the midst of all the chaos.  Delicious, warm and good.   This serves 5-6 people but not huge portions.

1 stick of unsalted butter
6 Vidalia onions – sliced
6 cups of beef broth
1 cup of white white
1/4 cup white granulated sugar

Gruyere cheese
One Baguette

Melt the stick of butter in a large soup pot.  Add the onions and cook at a medium high heat until they are totally soft.  Toss in the sugar and continue to cook.  The onions should start to get softer and they should begin to stick to the bottom of the pot.  Not totally caramelized by just a bit.  Now, add the white wine and all the brown bits should come loose into the pot.  Let the white wine boil down until it is almost gone.  Continue to mix the onions and they should start to turn almost a light brown.  I actually tossed in a bit more sugar at this point and through in a small shot of cognac.  Not necessary but I really wanted the onions to be flavorful.  Add all 6 cups of beef broth and bring to a boil.  Add salt and pepper for taste. Then, simmer for about 10 minutes.  At this point you can serve it.  I turned it off and let it sit on the stove for a few hours before dinner.  This could probably stay for at least 3 days in the refrigerator too.

When I was ready to serve the soup, I reheated it until it was really hot.  Sliced the baguette into small pieces and shaved the Gruyere cheese.  I put 3 pieces of the baguette at the bottom of the soup bowl, layered it with shredded Gruyere cheese and then ladled the soup on top.  This immediately melts the cheese and softens the bread.

Serve.  Really really good!