Okay, we admit: We've been on a French kick lately. (But how could we not after THIS story?) It's probably due to the rich, comforting nature of French food, made with lots of cheese, lots of meat, and lots of wine. Mmmmm.
But it's Monday, after all, so we're nixing the meat and sticking with the cheese and the wine. This rich French Onion Soup has them both, along with deeply flavorful slow-caramelized onions. Vermouth or dry white wine deglazes all those oniony browned bits after they cook for over an hour (read: FLAVOR), and the finished soup is topped with toasts draped with melted Comté cheese. Très bien! Whether you eat the toast by itself or dunk it into your soup is your choice. We prefer the latter.
FRENCH ONION SOUP WITH COMTE
Recipe by Mimi Thorisson
4 tablespoons (1/2stick) unsalted butter or duck fat
6 large onions (about 5 lb.), thinly sliced
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
8 slices 1/4-thick slices country-style bread, toasted
8 ounces sliced Comté cheese or Gruyère
Heat butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, shallots, and garlic; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and dark brown, 60-70 minutes. Add vermouth and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.
Tie parsley, thyme, and bay leaf with kitchen twine; add to pot along with broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 8 cups, 35-40 minutes; discard herb bundle.
Preheat oven to 450°. Place ovenproof bowls on a large rimmed baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls and top with toasts (cut to fit if necessary) and cheese. Bake until cheese is bubbling and golden brown, 6-8 minutes.
DO AHEAD: Soup can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.