French Onion Soup

This homey, comforting soup is perfect for a cool fall evening. I love Bob’s Pain aux Lardons because those little bites of bacon just make the soup even more delicious. You don’t have to use the veal demi-glace, but it’s worth it for the richer flavor. Suggested wine pairing: 2015 Cotiere Pinot Noir. For the full article and other recipes, click here.

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds sweet onions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 sprigs thyme

2 tablespoons flour

½ cup white wine

1 quart beef stock

2 tablespoons veal demi-glace (optional)

2 cups grated Gruyere cheese

4 half slices of Bob’s Pain aux Lardons

In a heavy-bottom cast-iron pot, melt the butter and olive oil together until hot. Add the onions and sugar and cook down slowly, keeping the heat on medium or medium-low. As they cook and soften, scrape up the browned bits and stir so that they don’t burn. Cook the onions until they are golden brown, about an hour and a half.

When the onions are soft and brown, add the garlic and thyme, then add the flour. Cook 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until it is completely evaporated, stirring constantly. Add the stock and demi-glace and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook slowly for about 30 more minutes.

Preheat the broiler.

Remove the thyme sprigs. Pour the soup into 4 small oven-proof bowls on a lined baking sheet. Top with a slice of bread and then a generous mound of cheese. Put under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and browns.


Recently returned from attending Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Laura Booras is the general manager at Riverbench Vineyard & Winery in the Santa Maria Valley. She lives on the vineyard, where she regularly hosts food writers, celebrity chefs and wine critics for unique meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients. 

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