French Three Onion Soup

We took the best part of this classic soup, all the sweet caramelized onions, and left behind all the fat. By steaming the onions to get the caramelization started, you can eliminate the need for almost all the fat. A small sprinkling of a good cheese at the end goes a long way.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 pounds yellow onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced, (about 6 cups sliced)

6 shallots, thinly sliced, (1 3/4 cups)

1 leek, white and light green part thinly sliced, washed well, and dark green top reserved

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 to 4 fresh thyme sprigs

1 fresh rosemary sprig

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

4 cups low-sodium beef broth

2 cups water

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup dry sherry

8 (1/4-inch thick) slices whole-wheat baguette (2 ounces), toasted

1/2 cup finely grated Gruyere (about 1 3/4 ounces)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Directions

  1. 1. Heat the butter and oil together in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, shallots and leek, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir to combine and cover. Cook, without stirring until the onions are soft and beginning to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. 2. Uncover, and continue to cook, stirring often, until the onions are a rich brown color and well caramelized, about 25 to 30 minutes. (If the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the pan or burn add about a 1 tablespoon water at a time.) Meanwhile, tie the reserved leek top with the thyme and rosemary using a piece of kitchen twine.
  3. 3. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring, to cook out the raw flour taste, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the broth and 2 cups water, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan; add the herb bundle. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire and remove from the heat. Discard the herb bundle, stir in the sherry and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  4. 4. Preheat the broiler. Divide the soup between 4 (16-ounce) oven proof bowls or ramekins and arrange them on a baking sheet. Top each bowl evenly with 2 baguette slices and top with the cheese. Put under the broiler until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with the chives and serve.

Cook’s Note

Serving Suggestion: Turn this rich soup into a full meal with a salad of baby mixed greens, sliced endive and beets with a lemon vinaigrette.

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