French Onion Soup

We've absolutely love French Onion Soup. Whenever we go out to eat, we almost always order this first. There are some places that make it really good, and of course there are some that are not so good. We've tried to make it at home before and we fall into the not so good category. I found this recipe from Pineapple Grass and decided to give it a try. Aside from the fact that it takes quite a bit of prep time (but hey, I have all day today!), it was pretty easy and delicious! The original recipe calls for chicken broth, but I decided to give it a try with vegetable broth instead.

2 Yellow Onions, peeled, halved, and sliced very thin
2/3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2/3 tablespoons Sugar
1/3 teaspoon Dried Thyme
Salt & Pepper
1 can (14.5 oz) Vegetable Broth
1/4 cup Dry Red Wine
2 cups Water

1/2 Bagel or Slice of Bread (we used a piece of french bread)
Olive Oil
Shredded White Cheese (we used asiago)

In a roasting pan, toss together onions, olive oil, sugar, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and place in a preheated 450 degree oven, cooking until steamed, about 30 minutes. Uncover, stir, and cook for about 1 hour more until the onions are carmelized, stirring every 30 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a large saucepan (reserve the roasting pan) and add the broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer. Cook until the liquid has darkened, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the roasting pan over medium heat and deglaze by adding the wine (I don't have a pan that is oven and stove safe so I used the oven for this step). Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Simmer until reduced and syrupy, about 2 minutes. Pour the liquid and the browned bits into the soup. Season with salt and pepper.
*At this step, you can cool soup and put in the refridgerator or freezer. If freezing, transfer it to an air tight container and leave about an inch at the top.

Make croutons by cutting the bagel/bread into chunks. Brush with a little olive oil and place in the oven to crisp up. I put the piece of bread in the 450 degree oven while the soup was simmering on the stove. Divide the soup into bowls, add the croutons and top with shredded cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Serves about 3 people.