Gratinée des Halles

Active Time: 40 MINTotal Time2 HR
Yield: Serves : 6

Andrew Zimmern’s take on French onion soup—bright with sherry vinegar and thick with onions—is a perfect, buttery version of the classic.Plus: Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen AdventuresSlideshow: Delicious Soups


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced (7 cups)
  • 2 leeks, whites and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots (2 large)
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 8 cups beef stock or low-sodium broth
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 12 baguette slices, cut 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • Finely chopped thyme, for garnish

How to Make It

Step 1    

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, leeks, shallots and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until very tender and caramelized, 40 to 45 minutes; stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the onions look very dry.

Step 2    

Add the garlic, tomato paste, herbes de Provence and bay leaf to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant and the mixture is glossy, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the soup is well flavored and reduced to 8 cups, about 45 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Season the soup with salt and pepper and keep warm over very low heat.

Step 3    

Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, melt the butter. Add the baguette slices and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until golden and just crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer the croutons to a plate.

Step 4    

Preheat the broiler and position the rack 8 inches from the heat. Arrange 6 heatproof bowls on a large rimmed baking sheet. Ladle the soup into the bowls and top with the croutons and cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and browned in spots, 1 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme and serve.

Make Ahead

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