Soupe a L'Oignon - adapted from Paris by Williams-Sonoma
- 2 1/2 lb yellow onions
- 3 tbs unsalted butter
- 1 tbs canola oil
- pinch of sugar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups light red or dry white wine
- 8 cups beef stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 6 thick slices coarse country or french bread, 1 1/2 inches thick
- 3 cups shredded Comte or Gruyere cheese
Thinly slice the onions lengthwise and set aside. In a large, heavy pot over medium low heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the onions, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, adding the sugar and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are meltingly soft, golden and lightly caramelised, 25-30 minutes.
Add the wine and raise the heat to high. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes. Next add the stock, bay leaf and strip the leaves off the thyme sprigs into the soup. Reduce the heat to medium low and allow to simmer, uncovered, until the soup is dark and full flavoured, about 45 minutes.
Just before serving, preheat the oven to 400F. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast, turning once, until golden on both sides. Remove from the oven and set aside. Next, remove the bay leaf from the soup and discard. Ladle the hot soup into ovenproof soup bowls arranged on a baking sheet. Place a piece of toast on top of each bowl and sprinkle evenly with with the cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and is golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and serve at once.