There is nothing quite like the smell of onions caramelizing in butter filling your house. In Montreal, it can get really cold in the winter, and I sometimes find myself craving something rich and savoury on a bitterly cold day, so I make this dish and I instantly feel warm. My favourite part of making this, is kneeling down beside the oven, peering through the glass slat, while watching the cheese melt and bubble over the edge of the bowl, and of course digging into that golden cheesy crust and slurping up the sweet onions underneath.
2 lbs. onions, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Cognac
1 cup white wine
3 cups beef stock
1 sprig fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
4 – 8 medium thick slices baguette bread (toasted)
2 cups Grated gruyere cheese, for garnish
For the soup
In a large pot, heat the butter until bubbly, add the onions and sauté on medium heat until soft and light brown, approximately 20 minutes.
Deglaze with the Cognac and red wine, reduce until half the liquid is left.
Add the beef stock and thyme, bring to a simmer and let cook, covered for 30 – 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle soup into individual oven proof bowls. On each soup, put one or two slices of baguette and smother in cheese.
Place the bowls on a cookie sheet and broil in the oven until the cheese is slightly brown and bubbly, serve piping hot.