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French Onion Soup with Italian Attitude


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 6 medium onions, thinly sliced

  • 5 garlic cloves, 4 chopped and 1 smashed

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 2 sprigs of rosemary

  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (eyeball it)

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 6 cups beef stock

  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved

  • 10 basil leaves, about 1/2 cup

  • 4 thick slices crusty bread, cut about an inch thick

  • 1/2 pound Gorgonzola cheese, cut into 4 slices


Pre-heat the broiler to high. Heat a deep pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add EVOO, once around the pan, and butter to the pot. Add the onions to the pot as you slice them followed by the chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add rosemary sprigs and a bay leaf.

Cook the onions for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender, sweet and deep caramel-colored. If the onions are burning in spots before browning all over, add a splash of water and stir every now and then, scraping the bottom of the pot.

While the onions are cooking, make the grape tomato topping: in a small bowl, combine the grape tomatoes, basil, a little salt and pepper. Under the broiler or toaster oven, toast the bread and rub both sides of the slices with the crushed garlic clove.

Make sure the toast circumference is smaller than the bowl in which you are serving it in. Place a piece of cheese on top of each toast and pop them under the hot broiler until the cheese melts and bubbles. Once the onions are tender and brown, add the balsamic vinegar and white wine, stirring up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add six cups of stock and cover the pot to bring the soup up to a quick boil. Arrange four small, deep soup bowls or crocks on a cookie sheet. Once the soup reaches a boil, remove the bay leaf and rosemary stalk, and ladle into bowls. Float the cheesy toast on the soup and top each toast with a mound of the grape tomato mixture.