I can't let a single winter pass without making soupe a l'oignon au fromage or "French onion soup." It's so warm and comforting and complete. It reminds me of my French-Canadian grandmother who loved the stuff and ate it nearly everyday when we went to Paris together when I was 14. It also makes me think of this scene in the sixth Harry Potter book where Harry arrives at The Burrow in the middle of the night (The Burrow being the coziest place imaginable) and Molly Weasley pours him some steaming onion soup.
Anyway, here's my recipe. It serves three people as a filling dinner, four if you add a salad or something or have smaller ramekins than I do.
2 large onions -- I use one yellow and one red to add flavor dimension (and because my red onion obsession knows no bounds), but traditionally it's all yellow. Just don't use white because they're too astringent.
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp flour
2 1/2 cups broth (traditionally beef, but you can use a dark vegetable broth if you're vegetarian)
1/2 baguette (use the stale leftovers for French toast.)
About 3 oz. grated gruyere cheese
salt and pepper
Step 1. Chop the onions and saute them in the butter in a pan large enough for the broth to be added later. Cook them until slightly tender and transparent.
Step 2. Add flour, stir, continue cooking a few more minutes.
Step 3. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and let cook for about 10 minutes.
Step 4. Ladle equal amounts into ceramic ramekins or oven-safe bowls.
Step 5. Cut two slices of bread for each bowl. The slices will be semicircular, so two should fit well with the bottoms together.
Step 6. Set slices on top of soup and cover with grated cheese.
Step 7. Place dishes under the broiler until cheese is melted and starting to brown in places.
Step 8. Serve by placing the hot ramekins on small room-tempurature plates. Enjoy!