I absolutely love French Onion Soup, and this is sort of my Italian spin on it. What I love about this dish is it really is so simple, and just a few key ingredients shine – it’s a great example that good food doesn’t need to be complicated. This “Italian” Onion Soup uses Fontina cheese instead of the traditional Gruyere. Fontina is so buttery and nutty, and it just melts beautifully onto the cubes of ciabatta bread – which, by the way, I find a lot easier to eat than thick slices of bread that you’ll usually find on classic French Onion Soup!
If time allows, you could go the long route and take the time to caramelize onions for 45 minutes to an hour, but I find that it still tastes rich and delicious with only 10-20 minutes of sauteeing on the stovetop. It makes this dish so much more doable for a weeknight when you don’t have tons of time to spare. My secret is that I use sweet onions, such as Vidalia, because they have a lot more sugar and caramelize faster – you don’t even need to cook them down that much to get a great, sweet flavor.
Italian Onion Soup With Fontina And Thyme
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large Vidalia onions sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 4 cups beef broth
- 4 slices ciabatta bread cubed
- 4 ounces sliced fontina cheese
- Special equipment: 4 1 1/2-cup ovenproof ramekins
- In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add the thyme and broth. Simmer, uncovered, until the onions are soft, about 15 minutes.
- Divide the soup between the 4 ovenproof ramekins. Divide the cubed bread among the ramekins. Top each with slices of fontina cheese. Place under the broiler, until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 4 minutes. Serve immediately.