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Onion Soup 101

  • servings: 6

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 pounds onions (red, white, and yellow, making sure at least one onion is of a sweet variety such as Vidalia or Maui), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • 8 cups fresh Homemade Beef Stock or canned low-sodium beef broth, skimmed of fat
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices white country-style bread, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, thinly shaved
  • 6 small sprigs thyme, for garnish

Directions

  1. Step 1

    In a large heavy pot over medium heat, saute bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel to drain. Set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Saute onions and thyme in remaining bacon fat in pan until onions are well caramelized, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Deglaze with vermouth, and cook about 1 minute. Add stock, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make croutons by toasting bread slices under broiler or in toaster, until golden.

  3. Step 3

    Preheat broiler. Add 1/2 teaspoon sherry and one crouton to each soup bowl. Sprinkle each crouton with 2 tablespoons reserved bacon. Ladle soup into bowls, top with Gruyere, and place on a baking pan. Transfer to oven, and broil until cheese is melted and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs, and serve immediately.

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