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Heat 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and olive oil in a heavy bottom pan, then add sliced onions stirring occasionally - cook about 20-25 minutes over low-to-medium Heat until tender and translucent. Do not skip this step. When done cooking, the onions should have reduced drastically.
Raise the heat to moderate-high. Heat, add about 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar or white, and add one teaspoon of salt. Stir frequently- cook for about 25-35 minutes careful not to scorch or burn the onions--stir-stir--stir. The onions should have reduced again drastically.
After the onions have been browned-carmelized- add 3 tablespoons of flour to give the soup body and thicken properly. Cook the onions over moderate heat, adding about one tablespoon butter to make a paste- cook on moderate heat for about 3 minutes to cook the raw taste off the flour and brown it lightly.
Add the homemade beef stock- putting one cup of homemade stock first to release the browned bits in the pan--stir--then add the rest of the beef stock, one bay leaf, and sage. Bring the broth to a good simmer.
Next, add the red wine to the simmering beef stock and reduce the heat to low cook or 30 minutes cook very slowly to cook the wine out.
Slice the crusty french bread one inch thick and place on a baking sheet, coat with a little olive oi,l and bake on 325 degrees for about 10-15 minutes on each side.
After the onion soup has been simmering for about 30 minutes, add three tablespoons of cognac, and one raw grated onion to the soup to lift the texture a little.
Ladle the French Onion Soup into oven-safe crocks. Add some of the swiss cheese directly into the soup and stir. Then place the toasted French bread in a layer on top of the soup. Add the parmesan cheese to the top of the soup making a thick layer on top of the french bread, making sure to cover the edges of the toast to prevent burning. Drizzle with a little oil or melted butter.
Place the crocks of French Onion Soup in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 25-30 minutes.
If desired place the crock under the broiler and broil tops of soup to brown the cheese further.