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A rich mushroom stock melds together the caramelized onions and cheesy croutons that make Rach's french onion soup simply irresistible.
For the stock, in a saucepot, combine the mushrooms and stock and simmer to soften mushrooms, 8-10 minutes, at low bubble. Puree in a high power blender or with an immersion blender. To serve, add wine, sherry, and, if using, demi-glace, and cook at medium boil, 6-7 minutes, until alcohol aroma cooks away.
For the onions, melt butter into olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Add onions and season with salt, black pepper, white pepper, thyme, bay and sugar, then soften 8-10 minutes, while stirring frequently. Reduce heat to very low and cook about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
For the croutons, lightly spread bread on both sides with softened butter.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Cook bread in skillet until well-toasted and golden on both sides. Rub the croutons with garlic.
To serve, remove bay and thyme bundle, if applicable, from stock.
Fill soup bowls with onions and top with stock and 2 toasts. Place on baking sheet, top toast with cheeses and broil to bubbly and brown.