French Onion Soup is one of my all time favorites. It's hard to find a restaurant that can actually make a decent bowl of French Onion Soup. Who can resist the melted, bubbly cheese over crusty bread. The real key to French Onion is the broth. Sure you can use Beef Broth from a can, but it will no where be as good as if you make the broth from scratch. Every year I look forward to our St. Patty's Day celebration not only because of the corned beef that I cure for 8 days, but the broth left over from boiling the corned beef and veggies. It is hands down the best broth I have ever tasted.
So yesterday I pulled out of my freezer a package of marrow bones from the farm (You can buy these at the grocery store too) for two reasons:
1. to make my dogs happy
2. to make soup stock
Roast marrow bones, carrots, onions, turnips, rutabaga, and garlic with olive oil in a pan at 350 F for 1-2 hours
Next take out your biggest stock pot and fill it up with all those roasted bones and veggies.
Throw in some celery, head of cabbage chopped up, zucchini, summer squash, 2 bay leaves, etc.
If you have some stew beef or chuck roast throw in too.
Fill the rest up with water and let boil for 5-6 hours.
The key to a good stock is the huge combo of veggies. You might not like turnips or rutabaga or cabbage, but they really make the soup stock delicious. It might smell funny at first, but as it cooks on the smell will become amazing.
Separate the broth from all the veggies with a colander and let the remaining stock boil down till it reaches your taste. Add as much salt to taste.
Next slice up at least 8 large onions and saute them in a preferably cast iron pot with butter.
Stir them every so often so they don't stick.
Cook until they are almost caramelized.
Add the broth and you can either do 1/2 cup of white wine or 2 tablespoons of Marsala or Sherry wine. This time I had some Marsala and it did the trick.
Next you want to slice up some good crusty bread and place it over your soup an oven proof bowl.
Then you want to layer on some Swiss or Gruyere cheese and place it under the broiler for a few minutes. Stay close you do not want to burn the cheese!