You will cry. Yellow onions are typically sold in 3-lb bags so 4 lbs is more than a full bag. If you don’t have a kitchen scale (and you should) buy the fourth pound from the choose-your-own bin. They’re more expensive, but usually not terribly so. This is one of those places where I’ll honestly say that Better-than-Bouillon is a reasonable choice. Bouillon cubes are a last option. You could use a vegetable broth for a vegetarian version (but add some marmite or vegemite for depth) but don’t use water unless you’re desperate as the depth of flavor from the broth is noticeable and you’re putting the effort into prepping four pounds of onions.
4-Pound French Onion Soup
- 4 lbs onions, cut in half crosswise and then sliced into "strings"
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 8 c beef broth (2 boxes)
- 1 tsp thyme
- 6 thick slices French bread
- 1.5 grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese
- Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium.
- Add onions, garlic, and bay. Cover and leave set 10 minutes. Stir.
- Cook for one to one and a half hours, stirring every 20 minutes.
- When the onions at the bottom start turning brown and sticking, add a splash of water.
- When the onions are about 1/4 of their former volume, and dark and sweet, add broth, salt, pepper, and thyme.
- Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer another hour.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Remove bay.
- Meanwhile, toast bread slices at 475 about 5 minutes or until toasted.
- Top with cheese and return to oven until cheese melts, another 5-7 minutes.
- Ladle soup into bowls and serve with cheese toasts.