Onion Soup is a family favorite recipe. My daughter who despised onions as a child has always loved onion soup. I think she originally liked the melted cheese, but through the years enjoyed the broth as much. I've made many renditions of Onion Soup through the years, using chicken broth instead of the classic beef broth or replacing some of the broth with beer.
Now, I made added some apple cider to the broth and it was FANTASTIC. I originally saw the recipe on the Food Network Site made by Alton Brown, but of course I altered it! I thought about the addition of apple cider and had to try it. I do things a little differently, I don't broil the top layer of cheese, instead I top it with some piping hot soup so it melts. I use a variety of onions (red, yellow and sweet) instead of just sweet onions and (of course) I add chopped garlic. It is delicious. The apple cider is not pronounced at all in the soup, instead it adds just a hint of something smooth and sweet, but not detectable. If you want more sweetness or apple flavor, add more cider or even a chopped apple.
Onion Soup - serves 4 - 6
2 T butter
6 onions (red, yellow and sweet combination), sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups white cooking wine
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
4 cups beef broth
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup apple cider
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp parsley leaves
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
Bread - stale or toasted
Swiss or Gruyere cheese, cut into small pieces or shredded
In a heavy bottom pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the sliced onions, sprinkle with pepper and cover. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes over low heat. The onions will sweat and then start to caramelize. Stir the onions and add the chopped garlic. Cover again and cook 20 - 40 minutes until the onions are as dark as you like. Some people like very dark (mahogany) onions, I don't like the onions deep brown, so I cook them closer to 20 minutes.
Stir the onions and pour in the 2 cups white wine. Let the mixture cook down until most of the wine evaporates and you are left with what looks like onions in gravy.
Stir in the Worcestershire Sauce, beef and chicken broth. Add the apple cider and spices. Cook covered until simmering and then uncover and cook 15 minutes more.
Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
To serve, spoon a crock or deep mug 3/4 full with soup. Float a piece of bread on the soup (tear up bread if serving to little ones). Top the bread with cheese. Then spoon some piping hot soup on top of the cheese. (Or broil the crocks under a low flame until the cheese is melted). Serve