FRENCH ONION SOUP
TIME: 30 MINUTES
YIELD: 4 TO 6 SERVINGS
VEG (USING HOMEMADE VEGETABLE BROTH, THIS PAGE)
Full of sweet caramelized onions, heady stock, and garlicky croutons covered with melted Gruyère, a classic French onion soup is celebration in a bowl, something a lot more fun and festive than your average soup. Use your best homemade stock here if you can—it has so much more flavor and richness than anything store-bought, and in this recipe it will make a difference. Vegetarians can substitute vegetable stock, preferably one made with lots of mushrooms for depth of flavor.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for the croutons
2 large or 3 medium onions, halved and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine
1 quart beef or chicken stock, preferably homemade (see this page)
1 sprig fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
French bread, cut into 1-inch-thick slices (1 slice per serving)
1 garlic clove, halved
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
- Using the sauté function, heat the butter and oil in the pressure cooker. Add the onions and season with ½ teaspoon of the salt and the sugar. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are caramelized and a deep golden color, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the flour and stir well. Add the sherry and a cup of the stock, scraping up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the thyme sprig, the rest of the stock, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Cover, and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, turn on the broiler.
- Place the bread slices on a baking sheet. Toast the bread under the broiler until it is just beginning to take on color, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the baking sheet from the broiler, leaving the broiler on, and rub both sides of each slice with the garlic. Brush the tops of the slices with olive oil, top with the cheese, slide the sheet back under the broiler, and cook until the cheese has melted and is starting to turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Release the pressure manually. Remove the thyme sprig, and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, place a crouton in each bowl and ladle the soup over it, allowing the bread to soak up the stock.