1 TBL butter
2 TBL olive oil
2 pounds 4oz large yellow onions, peeled, halved and thin sliced
3 large garlic cloves finely chopped or minced
7 oz dry white wine
8 ¾ cups beef stock (you can use bouillon cubes)
3 TBL Cognac or Brandy
6 slices French bread
7oz Gruyere cheese
Salt and pepper
Melt butter with oil over medium heat in large heavy-bottomed pan. Add onions and cook, covered for 10-12 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Reduce heat and continue cooking uncovered for 30-35 minutes (usually takes me the better part of an hour) until a deep golden brown, stirring time to time until they start to colour, then more frequently – do not burn, scrape bottom of pan often as they will stick. DO NOT hurry this step, the flavour comes from the slow cooking of the onions so they caramelize and then the brewing in the stock. The first time I made it the fire was too hot and they were brown in minutes…the soup was bland, but improved overnight. The next time, I slowed it down and – WHAM – the flavour was there immediately!
Sprinkle flour and stir to blend. Stir in wine and bubble for 1 minute. Add the stock, bring to boil, scraping bottom and sides, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to low, add Cognac or brandy simmer gently for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
Toast the bread under the grill on one side, turn and top with cheese, place under the grill until cheese melts.
Place toast in bowl and ladle soup on top.
Serves 6 - Improves in flavour overnight