Recipe: Mushroom French Onion Soup

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Like the baked rigatoni, this appetizer is inspired by a recipe from Tyler Florence's Tyler's Ultimate, which he calls "The Ultimate French Onion Soup." I won't claim this is the best, but it's pretty good, and the addition of mushrooms helps to fill in for the lost beef broth. It's actually a bit more savory than I imagine Tyler's original to be, but I really enjoy that.

More importantly, I can't emphasize enough that you should make your own vegetable broth. Store-bought veggie broth is a poor substitute for beef or chicken, while homemade is not only just as good, it can be modified to optimally replace either beef or chicken. See how here.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

    • 1.5 sticks butter
    • 4 onions, sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
    • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 cup red wine
    • 3 tablespoons flour
    • 2 quarts homemade vegetable broth
    • 1 baguette, sliced
    • 1/2 pound Gruyère cheese
    • Chopped fresh chives

Melt 1 stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay, thyme, and mushrooms, cooking about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay and thyme. Dust everything in the pot with the flour and stir. Turn heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush them with 1/2 stick of softened butter. Sprinkle with the Gruyère. Broil for about 3 to 5 minutes, until optimally browned.

Ladle the soup into bowls and divide the bread between them.

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Max Fisher is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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