It spontaneously turned into Bistro Night at our house yesterday evening. Braised chicken with carrots, onions and fennel and roasted fingerling potatoes served as the main course with a Pinot Gris. The starter was my first attempt at homemade french onion soup. I love french onion soup and am frankly surprised I have never tried it before. The results were very good. In retrospect there were a few changes I would have made and I have included them here. One thing to bear in mind is that this recipe does take about an hour and a half to prepare. My onions weren't browning and I just had to let them go for over an hour.
FRENCH ONION SOUP
4 Tbsp butter
6-7 (a bit over 2 lbs) sweet vidalia onions, sliced thinly into half moons
1/4 cup sherry
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups beef broth
salt and pepper
french baguette, cut into thick slices on the diagonal
grated gruyere cheese
--In a dutch over, or other heavy pan, melt the butter over medium heat
--Lower the heat to med-low and add the onions, the leaves of 1-2 sprigs fresh thyme and salt.
--Cook the onions until they start to brown. This took me literally over an hour. Be patient.
--Once they have started to brown, add the sherry and cook until the sherry has evaporated
--Add the chicken stock and beef broth and simmer for about 30 minutes. Continue tasting and adjusting with salt and pepper as necessary
--Turn on the broiler and place 1 baguette slice per soup bowl on a baking sheet
--Broil the bread for croutons about one minute
--Ladle the soup into over-safe bowls. Place the baguette, toasted side down in the soup. Top with the grated gruyere and place under the broiler for just under two minutes