Step 1: Gather Ingredients
2 cups onions. (The onions I used were small, so I used about 3, but it would only take 2 large onions.)
1 cup celery
4 cups beef broth (2 cubes, or 4 tsp powder.)
1 Tbsp cooking sherry
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp soy sauce
4 slices of bread
About 1/2 cup shredded cheese, or four slices of cheese. Gruyere is my favorite, but you can use whatever cheese you like.
You will also need:
A large pot
Cutting board, knife
4 Oven safe bowls--MUST be oven safe.
An oven with a broiler. If your oven doesn't have a broiler, that's okay, just preheat it to 350 or 400 or so.
Step 2: Slice and Cook the Veggies
Chop the celery. It is very important that you include the LEAVES of the celery in the soup. Just grab the whole clump of celery and chop it up, leaves and all. The celery leaves add great flavor.
Melt the butter in the bottom of your large pot. Add the onions and celery. Cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or so, stirring once in a while.
Step 3: Make Bread Hats!
Place your oven-safe bowl upside-down on a slice of bread. Press down like it's a cookie cutter. Cut away at the bread so you have a nice little bread circle.
Make bread-circles for all of your bowls.
You want them to be just big enough to be wedged in the top of the bowl, but not sitting on top, and not falling to the bottom of the bowl.
Think of them more as corks than lids.
Don't throw away the bread scraps! They can be included in a tasty breakfast recipe! (I will post an instructable for said recipe tomorrow morning, after I've made it!)
By this time, the veggies should be done cooking...
Step 4: Add to the Soup
At this point, you can add the cooking sherry, broth, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and pepper.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer.
Step 5: Putting It All Together
Don't worry if some of the cheese extends beyond the edge of the bread-circle--it will melt and stick to the side of the bowl, and it will be fun to peel it off later and eat deliciously.
As I said before, any type of cheese in any shape or size will work. Whatever floats your boat.
At this point, your soup should've simmered happily for a few minutes. I'd give it about 5 or 10 minutes. As long as the vegetables are cooked, the soup is pretty much ready when you are.
Turn on the broiler to high. (or, if you don't have a broiler, preheat the oven to 350 or 400 or so.)
Ladle the soup evenly into the four bowls. It should be a little over 1 cup per bowl.
Add the bread-and-cheese toppers. Place the bowls on a baking sheet.
Step 6: Broil
WATCH CLOSELY. The only time I've ever burned anything is when I use the broiler! Things can be bubbling along happily, then you walk away for 30 seconds and BAM your oven is on fire.
After a few minutes, the cheese will be all bubbly and melted and slightly browned. The bread will be toasty. (Might take a little longer if you don't have a broiler, but I wouldn't know.)
At this point, take the soups out of the oven. And you're done! Be careful serving, as they are very hot. But I hope you could figure that out on your own.
Enjoy your delicious French Onion Soup!