French Onion Soup
This recipe is from Betty Held's personal collection. It takes a little time to make this, but it's definitely worth the effort.
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
6 cups thinly sliced onions
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. flour
2 quarts beef stock, fresh or canned
1/2 cup Stone Hill Vidal Blanc or other dry white wine
10 to 12 one-inch-thick slices of French Bread
2 tsp. olive oil or salad oil
1 garlic clove, cut
2 cups grated Swiss cheese or Swiss and freshly grated Parmesan cheese combined
In a heavy 4- to 5-quart saucepan or a soup kettle, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. Stir in the onions and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the onions are a rich golden brown. Sprinkle flour over the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. In a separate saucepan, bring the beef stock and wine to a simmer, then stir the hot stock into the onions. Return the soup to low heat and simmer, partially covered, for another 30 to 40 minutes, occasionally skimming off the fat. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if needed.
While the soup simmers, make the croutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the slices of bread in one layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. With a pastry brush, lightly coat both sides of each slice with oil. Then turn the slices over and bake for another 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Rub each slice with the cut garlic clove.
Ladle the soup into an ovenproof tureen or individual soup bowls, top with Croutes, and spread the grated cheese on top. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted, then slide the soup under a hot broiler for a minute or two to brown the top if desired. Serves 6 to 8.