Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix that adds a mysteriously tangy, herb-forward flavour to any ho-hum dish. Use it in salads and on bread, chicken, and seafood.
French Onion Soup
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 lbs medium yellow onions (about 5), thinly sliced
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1tbsp all-purpose flour
- 8 cups beef stock (see recipe, page 296 of our cookbook)
- 2 cups local dry red wine
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 cups cubed baguette, toasted
- 4 ½ cups shredded Gruyère cheese (about 1 lb)
- 2 tsp minced fresh thyme
In a large, heavy pot, heat butter and oil over medium-low heat. Add onions, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 20 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add sugar and salt; sauté, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot, until onions are softened and a deep, rich brown, about 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in 2 cups of the stock, then add the remaining stock and wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 30 minutes to blend the flavours. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Divide baguette cubes among 8 individual ovenproof bowls. Fill bowls with onion soup and sprinkle each with a thick layer of cheese. Set bowls on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cheese is browned, about 8 minutes. Garnish with thyme.