French Onion Soup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 sweet yellow onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Salt (About a tablespoon. You’ll need more if you happen to use low sodium beef broth.)
1 cup white wine
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts (64 oz) beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated or sliced Gruyere
Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized. This might be about 25 minutes, but could be up to an hour. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn’t burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
While soup simmers, or at anytime before, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange bread in 1 layer on a large baking sheet and toast, turning over once, until completely dry, about 15 minutes.
When you’re ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into oven safe soup bowls (preferably French Onion soup bowls) Top the bowl with a slice or two of the toasted baguette (no essentially croutons) to cover the top of the soup. Place a slice of Gruyere over the bowl, enough to go slightly over the edges of the bowl, or generously sprinkle grated Gruyere over the toast. Then, grate a small amount of parmesan cheese over the Gruyere.
Place the soup bowls under the broiler until bubbly and golden brown – about 3 to 5 minutes.