I Love EVERYTHING about Le Chef’s French Onion Soup Gratinée. The rich, comforting broth. The ooey-gooey cheese pull. The dash of whiskey. A perfect meal to serve for socially distanced dinners outside in the winter.
- 8 Onions, sliced (we like to use 3 yellow onions, 3 white onions and 2 red onions for depth of flavor)
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 sprigs of thyme (leaves only – if using dried thyme, use 2 teaspoons)
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/2 cup of whiskey (once we did not have whiskey and used Gin instead -it was also delicious!)
- 8 cups chicken stock
For the Gratinée:
16 slices of day old french baguette, 1/4 inch thick.
15 oz of Gruyere
10 oz of Appenzeller Cheese
Heat olive oil over medium high heat in the pot.
Add in sliced onions and garlic, stirring frequently until beginning to brown.
Add butter and bring heat to medium. Stir frequently as butter melts and onions caramelize for 20 minutes. It is key that the onions are well cooked and have a nice golden color.
Deglaze the pot with the whiskey and add the bay leaf and thyme. The steam will smell sooooo good!
Add in 8 cups of chicken stock, stir and cover. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf and add an extra splash of whiskey for good measure.
For the Gratinée:
Cut the cheeses into 1/8 inch thick slices.
For individual portions ladle the hot soup into the French Onion Soup Crocks until they are almost full. Allow enough space at the top for the bread to be flush with the top of the bowl. Place 2 slices of baguette over each crock so that the bread fully covers the top (you may need to break up the pieces to do this). Arrange slices of cheese over the top so that the cheese fully covers the bread and also hangs a bit over the sides. For a truly decadent cheese pull, double up on the cheese – you won’t regret it.
Set the soup crocks on a cookie sheet to catch excess spilling.
Place cookie sheet with the prepared soup crocks under the broiler. Watch VERY closely and allow to brown until the cheese is bubbly on top and beautifully golden.
Serve immediately. Bon Appétit.
Portioned out individually and served straight out of the oven, this dish is perfect to serve for a safe, socially distanced gathering outside this winter. I guarantee no one will mind the cold while enjoying this dish!