French Onion Soup

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Servings: 16
READY IN
4hrs 25mins
Ingredients
  • 5 lbs onions, unpeeled
  • 1⁄2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 7 (16 ounce) cans beef broth, divided (recommended Swanson's)
  • 1 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour (such as Wondra) or 3⁄4 cup instant flour (such as Wondra)
  • caramel coloring (optional) or Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • French baguette (optional)
  • swiss cheese (optional) or gruyere cheese (optional)
Directions
  • Peel onions and slice 1/8 inch thick, preferably in a food processor.
  • Melt butter in a 6-quart (or larger) stockpot. Add onions; cook, uncovered, over low heat for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • (The long cooking time makes the onions mellow and sweet.) Stir in pepper, paprika and bay leaf; saute over low heat 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.
  • Pour in 6 cans broth and wine. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
  • Dissolve flour in remaining 1 can broth.
  • Stir into boiling soup.
  • Reduce heat and simmer slowly for 2 hours.
  • Adjust color to a rich brown with caramel coloring, season with salt. Refrigerate overnight. To serve, heat soup in microwave or on stove top.
  • If desired, pour into ovenproof crocks or bowls.
  • Top with a slice of bread and a sprinkling of grated cheese. Heat under the broiler until cheese melts and bubbles, about 5 minutes.
  • Leftover soup can be frozen.