Four years ago I created a family tradition called Tuesday Night Dinner. I just had my first born, Brook and I wanted my Mother to bond with her grandchild. So every Tuesday she comes over along with my best friend Shannon and whomever else wants a home cooked meal and we break bread. My Mom requested French Onion Soup one day and although I like this soup, I always try to step it up a bit. So, I thought if I added just as many mushrooms as onions and still keep the integrity of the cheese and crouton top, we might have a winner. I add just a touch of cream for body and flavor and I have to say with the fresh rosemary and thyme, this dish is fabulous. Don't forget to spread the roasted garlic on the croutons, it's one of the best parts! Happy Eating! —jonewman
Turn oven on to 400 degrees. Create an aluminum foil pouch. Cut off the top of the garlic heads and discard. Place both garlic heads in the foil pouch and pour ¼ cup of olive oil into the pouch. Salt the garlic and place in oven. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes.
Take out of oven and let garlic and oil cool. Reserve the olive oil for the bread. Slice 8 pieces of rustic bread around ½ inch thick. Spread the garlic olive oil on the pieces of bread. Then sprinkle with kosher salt. Broil the bread for about 5 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and hard. Keep an eye on them.
Take bread out and spread the roasted cloves of garlic on top of the croutons. Reserve these croutons for the soup topper.
French Mushroom Soup
In a large soup pot melt the butter and add the olive oil on medium high heat. Add all the sliced onions and mushrooms to the pot and sauté until well caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add the crushed garlic, granulated sugar, salt and pepper. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
Add the flour and stir. Add the vermouth, balsamic vinegar and beef broth to the soup pot. Stir and then add the bay leaves, fresh thyme and fresh rosemary
Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low and cook for 15 more minutes. Then turn off the heat and add the heavy cream. Stir and test soup, add more salt and pepper if needed.
Turn on your oven broiler to high. In oven proof crocks pour soup into the crocks. Place roasted garlic crouton on top of soup and put 1 oz of Gruyere cheese on top. Put into oven till cheese is melted and toasted. Serve immediately.