Many of you may roll your eyes and gag yourselves and call me a heretic when you see that my recipe does not use any sort of red wine or sherry. But, as previously mentioned, we are an alcohol-free household and have had to be creative in finding adequate substitutes. Onion soup has been an especially difficult substitute to find, because the flavor of the wine is so integral to the flavor of the onions and soup. I shied away for years because of this, but no more, friends! No more! While it's nowhere near as good as the one I had in Paris (but come on, it's Paris!), it's still perfectly delicious.
Soupe a l'Oignon au Fromage (French Onion Soup)
Adapted from Gourmet, Jan 1991
Yield: 6 servings
6 large onions (about 5 pounds/2.25 kg), sliced thin
1/4 cup (2 oz/50 gr) unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 quarts (1.5 ltr) beef broth
twelve 1/2-inch-thick slices of French bread, toasted
3/4 pound (350 gr) coarsely grated Gruyère
In a large heavy-bottomed pot cook the onions in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring often, for 45 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Add vinegar and sugar and cook until absorbed, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle the onions with the flour and cook the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the broth slowly, stir the soup constantly until it comes to a boil, and simmer it, covered, for 20 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Put 2 slices of the toast in each of 6 heated soup bowls, top each toast with 1 tablespoon of the Gruyère, and pour the soup over the toasts.