Simply Delicious Onion Soup

Serves 8

I've lightened up this French classic by serving it with homemade croutons and a Parmesan crisp. Use the slicing blade of your food processor to prep the onions and you'll have a rich, delicious soup on the table in less than an hour.

4 pounds onions, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 dried bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup dry vermouth
8 cups beef stock
1 recipe brioche croutons (see below)
8 Parmesan crisps (see recipe below)

1. Heat a 6-quart stockpot over medium-high heat. Add 4 tablespoons butter and olive oil. Once butter is melted, add onions and stir to coat well. Add bay leaves a season with salt and pepper. Cover pot and reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, until onions are softened, about 30 to 35 minutes.

2. Remove and discard bay leaves. Raise heat back to medium-high. Stir in vermouth. Add remaining butter and stir until melted. Pour in stock and stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

3. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish each serving with some croutons and a Parmesan crisp.

Brioche Croutons

Makes 2 cups

3 thick slices brioche, cubed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a medium bowl, drizzle with brioche cubes with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.

Parmesan Crisps

Makes 8

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Divide cheese into four 2 ½-inch mounds on a sheet pan lined with greased parchment or a silicon liner. Bake until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Let rest on sheet for 1 minute. Use a flexible or offset spatula to remove from pan.