For this recipe, you will need four* soup bowls, each with a capacity of about 12 ounces and preferably, with a lip or rim around the edge that the cheese topping will stick to as it melts to form a beautiful crust on top of the soup. *I believe I adjusted the recipe for the batch shown here (six bowls).
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 onions (about 12 oz.) cut into thin slices
About 7 cups of good quality chicken stock or a mixture of chicken and beef stock
About ½ teaspoon salt, more or less, depending on the saltiness of the stock
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
16 slices of baguette, each cut about 3/8” thick
About 3 cups grated Swiss cheese, preferably Gruyere, Comte’, or Emmenthaler (abut 10 ounces)
Process: Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the sliced onions in the butter over medium to high heat for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the stock, salt and pepper and boil gently for 15 minutes. How easy is this?
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a tray, and bake them for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are nicely browned. Divide the toast among the bowls, and sprinkle ¼ cup of cheese into each bowl.
When the stock and onions have cooked for 15 minutes, pour the soup into the bowls, filling each to the top. Sprinkle on the remainder of the cheese, dividing it among the bowls and taking care not to push it down into the liquid. Press the cheese around the rim or lip of the bowls, so it adheres there as it cooks and the crust does not fall into the liquid.
Arrange the soup bowls on a baking sheet, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a glorious brown, rich crust has developed on top. Serve hot right out of the oven.
KPK Notes: Cover your sturdiest baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Use good cheese. If you use the already shredded Swiss/Gruyere artisan combo by Sargento, I would add some Emmenthaler or Gruyere on the very top. For this recipe, I once used two packages of the Sargento stuff (for speediness) but I also grated a $9.00 chunk of Emmenthaler which I think melts and browns much nicer and forms a better crust on top. Use your grater with the largest holes. Bon Appetit!
This recipe is OUTSTANDING and simple! It was adapted from Jacques Pepin's recipe which was featured in his wonderful autobiographical book, "The Apprentice, My Life In The Kitchen". A MUST-read for anyone interested in the fascinating life of this great chef!
Upper left photo - Budding chef, Sam Fioretti, ladles the steaming onion soup over the crusty baguette slices . . . Lower right photo, Sam shows off the finished products in all of their bubbly, oozy, crusty, molten, cheesy glory! AAAhhhhhhhhh! Life is good.
Make this for yourself and for your family and friends ASAP. Drop everything, LOL.
Happy Holidays from Katie's Passion Kitchen
Stay Warm - Eat Soup