You know that effortless, elusive “Je ne sais quoi” that follows Parisians about? Ever wish you could capture a wisp of it? A beret isn’t the answer. No, what you need is the key to all of our fantasies français: the ultimate French Onion Soup. Spoon after spoon of rich beef broth, sweet caramelized onions, gooey Gruyère and crusty bread, and you too will ditch your chic chapeau in favor of this magnifique bistro classic. —bitememore
In a large pot, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook stirring frequently, until the onions are a deep golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Add the thyme, bay leaves, flour and brown sugar. Stir well to combine. Add white wine, red wine and brandy, cooking for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beef broth and bring to a boil. Simmer soup for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves.
To assemble the soup, just before serving, preheat broiler to high. Place onion soup bowls on a baking sheet and ladle soup into bowls. Top with a slice of bread and then top the bread with Gruyere cheese. Melt under the broiler for a minute until the cheese is nicely browned.