Serves 10 people
For the Soup
5 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon table salt, plus additional to taste
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar (helps the onions to brown)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef stock
*for vegetarian version sub with mushroom stock!
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cognac or brandy
For the Garnish
1 tablespoon grated raw onion
1 to 2 cups grated Swiss Gruyere or a mixture of Swiss and Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter, melted
12 to 16 1-inch thick rounds French bread, toasted until hard
Espresso cups (or small ramekins)
For the Soup
After 15 minutes, uncover the pot, raise the heat slightly and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook onions, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes until they have turned an even, deep golden brown.
Bring the soup back to a boil and divide among the individual cups/bowls. To each vessel, add 1/2 teaspoon grated raw onion and a tablespoon of grated cheese. Stir to combine. Dab your croutons with a tiny bit of butter and lay on top of sheet pan. Mound grated cheese on top. At this point you can bake in the oven or brulee with a torch.
Place bread and cheese on top of soup and serve with a small demi tass spoon.