French Onion and Squash Soup

This winter soup is like a deconstructed French onion soup, but it is made heartier with the addition of winter squash and healthier with the substitution of parmesan for the usual gruyere.

4 yellow or white onions
4 tbsp butter
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
2 lbs winter squash
¾ cup white wine
4 cups beef broth
1 ½ cups water
freshly ground black pepper
parmesan and crusty bread, for serving

Peel onions, cut them in half lengthwise, and slice very thinly across the grain. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed, add onions, thyme, bay leaf, and salt and cook, stirring frequently. While the onions are cooking, peel and seed squash and slice very thinly. Cut very long slices in half, for pieces approximately 3” long. After the onions have become soft and begin to turn golden, approximately 30 mins, add the squash slices and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to keep the onions from sticking.

Add the wine to the pot and cook for two minutes, then add the beef broth, the water, and ground black pepper to taste. Bring the soup back to a simmer, then cook at med-low heat for 30 mins, until the squash is meltingly tender.

To serve, grate parmesan onto the bowls of soup and use the crusty bread for dipping.

Serving Suggestion: This soup is fantastic with a green salad dressed with equal parts lemon juice and olive oil, a pinch of sugar and salt, and 2 cloves of garlic, smashed into a paste.