French onion soup is a dish that’s so simple to make, so good to eat… and a surprisingly good companion to wine.
The three keys to French onion soup success:
1. A flavorful, rich stock.
2. Slow-cooked sweet onions.
3. High-quality Gruyere cheese.
Use those in the recipe that follows, tear off a thick piece of crusty bread, pour a glass of wine… and savor the experience.
Gamay makes a great wine-pairing partner because the cherry and berry fruit qualities of the wine pick up the sweetness of the onion. Other red-wine options include a rustic-style Pinot Noir and Italian Dolcetto.
Prefer white wine? No problem! A Pinot Gris from California or Oregon is an excellent choice — try to find one with little or no oak influence — and other options include Roussanne, Viognier and Gewürztraminer.
The recipe that follows yields 6 servings — plenty to share with friends, and a good excuse to open a couple bottles of wine.
FRENCH ONION SOUP
* ¼ cup unsalted butter
* 6 medium sweet onions, sliced
* 1 tsp. sugar
* 1 T flour
* 1 cup Pinot Gris
* 4 cups high-quality beef broth
* 6 (½-inch-thick) slices day-old French bread
* 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
* ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat.
2. Add onions and sugar. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until onions are soft.
3. Uncover pan, increase heat slightly, and continue to cook, stirring regularly until onions are a rich caramel color (about 12 minutes).
4. Whisk in flour until well blended.
5. Gradually add wine and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture boils and thickens.
6. Whisk in broth, and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
7. Ladle soup into six 1½-cup ovenproof bowls. Top each with a bread slice, and then sprinkle with cheeses. Place bowls on a baking sheet and place under broiler until cheese melts and bubbles.