For many years now, I have sampled French Onion Soup at nearly every restaurant I've gone to (so long as they've offered it on the menu). If it's good, I LOVE French Onion Soup. But, when it's bad... Ugh! The part that really burns my butt, though, is this - French Onion Soup is cheap to make. I mean really cheap. So, for them to rob me of my hard-earned five dollars in exchange for their mostly mediocre broth concoction is just a crime! Especially when said concoction is mostly just a bunch of beef stock or broth with a few little chopped onions in the bottom of the bowl. What the frank is that crap?!
Frustrated by the lack of deliciousness when I'm being forced to pay an obscene amount of money for something, I finally decided to figure out how to make it myself. I went to Google and typed in "French Onion Soup," and could have spent days pouring through (no pun intended) all of the soup recipes... From Julia Child's recipe to every other home cook's variation, I picked through maybe 10 different recipes, looking for what I wanted most. I never actually did find that recipe, though... So, what I did instead was looked at the recipes I liked some parts of, took those parts and mixed them with some other parts, then put my own little touch on it. The recipe I came up with gets rave reviews from everyone who tries it!
4 lb. onions, sliced
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 - 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
8 c. beef broth
1 Tbsp. dried thyme, crushed
2 - 3 bay leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
Baguette, cut in ½-in. slices and toasted or croutons
Provolone cheese, sliced
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil; add onions. Cover and cook, without stirring, for 15 minutes. Cook 30 - 45 minutes longer or until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic, mixing it with the onions a little bit, and pour in the beef broth. Add salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaves, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven's broiler. Toast the bread slices. Ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls and place the bowls on a baking sheet. Place a toasted slice of bread (or croutons) over each bowl and top with Provolone and Parmesan cheeses. Place the bowls under the broiler until the cheeses are melted and lightly browned.