On my first attempt to decipher a French menu, I blindly ordered by simply closing my eyes, circling my finger, and pointing at the menu for our waiter. With a wry grin, he said, "Merci", and dashed back to the kitchen. Turns out, I ordered lambs brains in a white sauce. I was hungry, so I ate it.
Had they put French onion soup on the menu, it would have been a no brainer. Go with what you know. But I have never had French onion soup in France nor have I ever seen it as the soup du jour in a French cafe.
Want to impress dinner guests? Make French onion soup. It's tasty and simple.
Open a bottle of white wine. It doesn't have to be French wine, but I'm pretty sure that's how this soup got its name. Pour yourself a glass. Now start chopping onions, lots of onions. I prefer the Northwest Walla Wallas but they can be any onion. After you've cut four or five onions, wipe your eyes, and sip your wine. You deserve it.
In a large pot, melt a half stick butter. Throw in onions and cover, simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Cut a few green onions, grate some gruyere( yes, a Swiss cheese), and slice a baguette. Set aside.
Once the onions have cooked down, pour in a cup of the wine plus another dash for good luck. Stir. Now pour in a quart of beef broth. This stuff is pretty salty so go light on the salt when seasoning. Add some fresh thyme a bay leaf and simmer another 20 minutes. Plus du vin(more wine).
Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprig and ladle soup into deep soup bowls. Lay a slice of the baguette atop the soup and cover with grated gruyere. Broil in oven until the cheese melts down the side of the bowl. Garnish with the green onions and serve. Viola!