What makes this “Vermont” onion soup? We took classic French onion soup and replaced the melted Gruyere topping with good sharp Cheddar.
By Yankee Magazine
Apr 05 2022
Vermont Onion SoupPhoto Credit : Heath Robbins
What makes this “Vermont” onion soup? We took classic French onion soup and replaced the melted Gruyere topping with good sharp Cheddar. We also used a medium-body Marquette wine–made from a North American grape varietal that thrives in cold climates–from Middlebury’s Lincoln Peak Vineyards in the base (though, of course, you can use any red wine). If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could even source all the vegetables and the bread from Vermont suppliers.
5 tablespoons salted butter
8 medium-size (6 large) red onions, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
5 medium-size cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups medium-bodied red wine, such as Marquette, Merlot, or Syrah (Shiraz)
2 quarts (8 cups) beef stock
20-24 slices crusty white bread
1 pound aged Cheddar, shredded
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cover the pot and cook until the onions are fully wilted, about 15 minutes. Stir the onions occasionally. Now remove the lid and cook the onions uncovered for an additional 10 minutes; keep stirring them occasionally throughout.
Add the sugar and cook until the onions are very soft and golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the wine and beef stock; stir to combine, then increase the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 10 more minutes to let the flavors combine. Taste and add 1 to 2 teaspoons more salt as needed.
While the soup is simmering, preheat your oven’s broiler and set a rack 3 to 4 inches from the heating element. Arrange the bread slices on an ungreased baking sheet and set under the broiler until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the bread slices with tongs, and top them with the shredded cheese. Return to the broiler and cook until the cheese is melted and golden, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Spoon the soup out into serving bowls and top each with a piece of cheese toast; then give each person an extra toast on the side. Serve hot.