The scent of caramelizing onions will bring everyone to the kitchen long before you’re ready to serve this soup!
And it’s the caramelized onions that give the soup it’s beautiful color. Which is important because I prefer to use a gluten free vegetarian stock, rather than the traditional beef broth. But you may use that or a combination of beef broth and chicken stock, if you prefer.
But first, let me talk about how to prepare those delicious, gluten free garlic croutons to top it off! Here’s what you’ll need for that:
- 6 slices of your favorite GF bread
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the slices of GF bread with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder. Cut into cubes (the size you prefer) and lay it out on a cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes (turning once or twice so they toast on each side). This may be done a day or two in advance of when you need them.
They’re also delicious on a salad!
Now…on to the soup
- butter or non-dairy butter - 3 Tablespoons
- onions - 4 lbs.
- GF vegetable broth - 8 cups (chicken or beef broth)
- cooking sherry or dry wine - 2/3 cup
- Thyme - Couple of fresh sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- Bay leaf - 1
- GF Worchestershire sauce - 1 teaspoon
- sea salt - 1 teaspoon (more to taste)
- ground black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
- GF flour mix - 2 Tablespoons
- Marsala or cognac - Approx. 2 Tablespoons (optional)
- Gruyere or Swiss Cheese - 2 1/2 cups grated or thinly sliced
Remove the outer skin on the onions. Cut in half and slice thinly. Saute the sliced onions in butter and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt in a heavy soup pot, stirring occasionally. Give the onions at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours to fully caramelize for the best flavor! You want them to be tender and brown.
Then add the sherry and saute for about 5 minutes.
Add the vegetable broth, Bay leaf, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce and simmer together for 20 to 30 minutes.
Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the broth into a container with a lid. Add the GF flour mix, cover and shake well. You want it to be smooth with no lumps. Add it to the soup mixture and stir.
Preheat the broiler and allow the soup to simmer for a few more minutes, until the broth has been reduced a bit. Remove the fresh thyme (if you used fresh).
This is when I like to add a splash of Marsala wine. It adds another layer of flavor. But it is optional, and I know there are purists out there who won't like the addition of an Italian wine to a French soup, but I figure I already blew it by using a vegetarian broth ;) - so I'll leave that up to you. Cognac is also a very nice choice. Basically it's about a teaspoon per bowl or 2 Tablespoons total.
Taste and adjust seasonings as you like. At this point you may save the soup for a day or two (which will only enhance the flavors) OR turn the heat low under the soup and ladle into oven-safe bowls and place on a cookie sheet.
Add the prepared GF croutons and cheese. Place under the broiler and allow the cheese to bubble and melt. (Be sure to keep an eye on it!)
Bon Appetit! :)