In this vegetarian version of classic French onion soup (based on the idea of recipe developer Andrea Slonecker and sommelier Dana Frank), oloroso sherry and blue cheese bring new layers of flavor and depth.
French Onion Soup Ingredients
4 1/2 pounds mixed onions (2 large red onions, 2 large yellow onions, and 2 large sweet onions), halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
2 tbsp butter (unsalted)
1/4 cup oloroso sherry
2 tbsp olive oil (extra-virgin)
6 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp kosher salt
8 thyme sprigs
3/4 tsp black pepper
6 day-old whole-grain rustic bread slices, halved
2 tsp sherry vinegar
4 ounces Stilton cheese, thoroughly chilled and thinly sliced or crumbled
How to Make It
Combine butter, onions, and oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat; toss together. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions start to caramelize (it takes about 20 minutes.) Then, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until onions are tender and caramelized.
Add the sherry. Simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sherry is mostly evaporated. Stir in the broth, pepper, salt, and thyme. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered. Stir in the vinegar, and cook for one minute; add salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to broil with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Remove thyme sprigs. Divide the hot soup evenly among 6 ovenproof bowls or crocks, and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Add two bread pieces to each bowl, and push them down until they are half-submerged but still at the top of the soup. Add a handful of crumbles (or cheese slices) to each bowl. Then, broil until melted, bubbly, and browned in spots.
The soup, cooked through step 2, will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to three days. It can be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months. And French Onion soup will be just as delicious in the cold days to follow the first.