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I made the first version of red wine onion soup about a year ago. My first attempt had too many onions (recipe I posted last year was adjusted for that), and it didn’t have enough red wine. I needed to try again with a different ratio of wine to beef stock. I finally got the ratio of wine to beef stock right! This is what I’ll be using from now on.
Normally I would use a cheap bottle of cabernet sauvignon for this, but I didn’t have any cheap bottles of cab sitting around. I had an $8-ish bottle of merlot, so I used that.
For slicing onions, I always use this method that Anne Burrell demonstrated on season 1 of Worst Cooks in America. Nice, even pieces every time, and it’s easy!
The only problem I encountered with this recipe was that it was way too salty. I’ve adjusted the recipe below to account for that. My mistake was adding too much salt before I added the Worcestershire, so now I just have salting at the end to taste. I ended up needing the potato and apple juice tricks to fix the saltiness. For the potato trick, just place some peeled potatoes (I cut mine in half) in the pot while it simmers, and they’ll absorb some of the saltiness. You can also add something sweet like apple juice to counteract the saltiness, which is what I did when the potatoes didn’t absorb enough of the salt. I left the apple juice in the recipe because adding that would change the flavor profile, but since I changed it to have the salt added at the end, you hopefully won’t be needing the potato trick.
1 Vidalia onion, sliced thin
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, grated using a zester
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp sage
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
1 bottle red wine with ½ cup set aside
8 cups beef stock
1 cup apple juice
1 tbsp Worcestershire
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
Asiago cheese, sliced
Gruyere cheese, sliced
Stale baguette, sliced
Melt butter in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat (tip: preheat the pot on the stove before adding the butter). Add onions, garlic, oregano, thyme, and sage.
Cook until onions are soft and translucent and begin to caramelize.
Add ½ cup of the red wine, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer until the wine has evaporated (onions should be red and dry-ish).
Add the flour and stir the onions to coat. Cook on low for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the beef stock, apple juice, Worcestershire, bay leaves, and the remaining wine. Stir to make sure all of the flour is off of the bottom of the pot so it doesn’t burn. Bring soup to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer. Skim the froth from the top and discard. This is a good time to taste the soup and add some salt if needed.
Cover and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the broiler.
Fill soup crocks (I used Le Creuset mini cocottes) with stale baguette slices, about halfway. Ladle soup into the crocks. Top each with asiago and gruyere slices. Place onto a baking sheet and broil until the cheese is melty and golden. (And caution – the soup will be extremely hot!)