French Onion Soup with Lamb Broth and White Wine
This lamb broth recipe for French onion soup is very similar to the classic French onion soup recipe. The only different ingredients are the lamb broth instead of beef broth, and the rosemary instead of thyme. Thyme actually suits lamb broth French onion soup recipes but rosemary is extra special and has a real affinity with lamb.
The white wine adds depth and the sugar helps to make the onions extra sweet and juicy. The French baguette bread and gruyere cheese finish off this classic dish in the traditional style. It is best to use stale baguette bread, if possible, because it toasts better and makes it less likely that the French onion soup cheese will melt right through it. You can use any bread you happen to have to make the croutons but baguette bread, sliced on the diagonal, is especially nice.
If you do not have a baguette, you can use sliced bread or any type of loaf. All bread toasts and is fine for making croutons with, so it is just down to what you have and what you personally like. Use slightly stale bread for the best result, either using bread which is a few days old or heating fresh bread in a warm oven for a few minutes to dry it out. This will produce crispier croutons so it is worth doing. French loaves only keep a couple days because they do not contain preservatives but other kinds of bread can last up to a week so it is a handy tip to know.
- 2 ½ lbs thinly sliced onions
- ½ stick butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 cups lamb broth
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 8 thick slices French baguette bread, toasted
- ¾ grated gruyere cheese
- Heat a heavy pan over a medium heat and add the oil and butter. Stir in the onions, cover the pan and let them cook for about 15 minutes or until they are soft and translucent.
- Blend in the sugar and salt and turn the heat up to medium high. Let the onions brown, stirring them often, until they are very dark. This should take about 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the flour and cook the onions for 3 more minutes.
- Remove from the heat, let the onions stand for 2 minutes, then whisk in 2 cups of hot broth.
- Bring the soup to a simmer, and then add the wine, the rosemary, and the rest of the broth.
- Cover the pan loosely, then simmer the French onion soup gently for an hour and a half, adding extra water if the liquid is reduced by too much.
- Taste the soup to check the seasoning.
- Divide the soup between 4 soup bowls and top each one with a slice of toast.
- Sprinkle the grated cheese over the bread.
- Put the soup bowls on a cookie sheet and broil until the cheese is melted and has formed a crust over the bowls.
- Serve right away.
Broil the French onion soup until the cheese is golden brown and crusty, for the most authentic and tastiest results, just like what you would expect to get served in Paris. Cheese is not only added to this recipe to improve the flavor but it also adds a lovely texture, the stringiness of the cheese contrasting with the slippery onions and meaty broth. Serve extra toast or croutons on the side if you are feeding a particularly hungry diner, or if you want this to be a whole meal rather than a snack or appetizer only.
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