French Onion Soup

8 servings


3 large sweet onions, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
64 ounces (8 cups) beef broth {see homemade version below}
1 tablespoon dry sherry or cognac
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme


8 tablespoons freshly grated/shredded parmesan cheese
16 slices thin swiss cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
8 (1-ounce) slices French bread,1/2-inch thick, toasted


Cut onions in half, then thinly slice.
In a large soup pot, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat and add the onions.
Saute onions for about 20 minutes, until limp and golden brown in color.

Add the beef broth and thyme and heat to boiling, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the sherry and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oven to broil.

Place soup crocks (the number will depend on servings) in a baking pan and ladle onion soup evenly among the soup crocks filling each ¾ quarters of the way.

Add one tablespoon of grated cheese to each crock and stir gently.

Place a slice of toasted bread and two slices of swiss cheese on top of each bread slice.

Carefully transport the baking pan with the crocks to the broiler and broil the crocks until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly, anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

Serve the crocks on separate plates.

Homemade Beef Broth


3 -4 lbs beef bones, meaty
3 carrots, scraped, broken in several pieces
2 medium onions, peeled, quartered
3 stalks celery, broken into several pieces
2leeks, cleaned and cut into chunks
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
6 -8 peppercorns


Place the beef bones in a large heavy pot and cover with cold water by about two inches.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat and skim the sum which rises to the top–this should take about five minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and more cold water so that everything is covered by at least an inch or two.
Bring the stock to a simmer again, skimming as necessary.
When the stock is simmering (Do NOT allow it to boil), partially cover and maintain at a very slow simmer for four to five hours.
If the water level gets too low, add boiling water to the pot.
Skim as necessary.
When the vegetables and the bones have given their all to the broth, strain the broth and discard the solids.
Set the stock, uncovered in the refrigerator until the fat has risen to the top and solidified.
Remove and discard the fat.
Taste the degreased stock (remembering it contains no salt) and if it is not strong enough, reduce it over medium heat.
When the stock is cold, store it in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer.