Fall is here, and for me and other amateur gourmands this means invoking the spirit of Ina Garten, queen of bougie comfort food. It means “cozy” foods like soups, stews, and the accompanying fats and carbs. Crisps and crumbles, buttered steaks and lamb shanks, and pumpkin spice everything. To be completely transparent, I had been craving caramelized onions all week. They’re so simple, but it doesn’t do them justice to just eat them alone (although I have and I could do it again). That’s where these lil soup babies come in. Today I’m showing you all how to put together mini french onion soup gratinees that will have you saying, “How easy was that?”. They are a great starter or side, but I imagine them on the table at a fall gathering, covered in melty cheese and stinkin’ up the room with their lovely savory scent. I hope you enjoy…cuz I definitely did. Happy FALL, y’all!
Total cook and prep time: 1 hour | Serves: 4-6
3 small yellow or white onions, sliced consistently
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
3 c beef broth
1 c water
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1 tsbp white wine
1 tbsp all-purpose white flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp white sugar
small baguette or hearty bread
4 oz brie cheese (substitute provolone if you don’t like brie)
In a large pot, heat up the olive oil on medium for about 2 minutes
Throw in the onions and thyme, constantly stirring and sweating the onions until they soften up
After about 5-7 minutes, add the white wine, this will cause some steam (don’t panic!)
Continue to stir the onions and add water as necessary to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot
After about 15-20 total minutes and once the onions are brown, add the salt, garlic, Worcestersire sauce, and sugar.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Once the onions are brown and jammy in consistency, add the broth to the pot.
In a heat-resistant bowl, take a ladel-full of broth and whisk it with the flour. Add this thick mixture back into the soup like you would with gravy, to thicken the soup.
Turn the heat down low, cover, and allow the soup to simmer for about 5-7 more minutes.
To prep the mini-soups, ladel about 1/2-3/4 cup of soup into each rameken, top with 3/4 inch-thick slices of bread (slightly submerge the bread), top the bread with a slice of cheese, and then garnish with thyme and fresh cracked black pepper.
Place the soups on a sheet pan in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melty.