French onion soup is one of my favorite meals; there's something about the gooey cheese hanging out of the spoonfuls of rich onion broth, just oozing with delicious winter comfort.
Fortunately, onion soup is one of the easiest little dishes to prepare. And you don't need very many things at all. Onion soup grew out of the constraints of poor people making do with what they had, and yet its simple preparation rewards with rich taste far beyond the sum of its parts. All you really need is an onion, some butter and broth, some wine if you have it - or water if you don't - and salt and pepper. Sure, it can be fancied up a little more, but those are the basics.
Quick and Easy Onion Soup
makes about 3 cups
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups broth - beef is best but chicken or vegetable will do
1 cup white wine - or water
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese
Peel and finely slice the onion into half moons. Slice these in half again. Heat the butter over medium heat, then add the onions. Stir and cook over medium heat until they are slightly caramelized and soft - about 6 or 7 minutes. Don't let them get too dark or the soup will be bitter.
Add the flour and stir until the onions are coated. Add the broth and wine, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the soup. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so, lifting the lid at the end to let it reduce a little. Taste and season. Serve with fresh grated cheese and good bread.