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French Onion Soup Gratin

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3 to 4 sweet onions (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
coarse sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons Cognac
4 cups beef or chicken stock
2 cups water
1 thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
1 baguette
2 cups grated Gruyère

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions in layers, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized and brown, about 40 minutes. Add wine and Cognac. Simmer on medium-low until liquid has reduced and thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add stock, water, thyme, and bay leaf. Simmer 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice baguette into 1/2-inch slices. Place on rimmed baking sheet and bake until dry, about 8 minutes.

Check soup for seasoning. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Ladle soup into oven-proof bowls. Top soup with 2 to 3 baguette slices and 1/2 cup grated Gruyère per bowl. Place bowls on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until cheese is melted, bubbly, and brown, about 5 minutes. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

 

- Recipe courtesy of Joseph Erdos

 

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