Prep and cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cannot be frozen
For the soup:
3 tbsp butter, cut into 3 pieces
6 large onions (about 4 lbs), halved and cut into ¼ thick slices
500 ml water
125 ml dry sherry or dry red wine
1000 ml chicken stock
500 ml beef stock
6 g fresh thyme, tied with kitchen twine
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
2 tbsp cornflour
For cheese croutons:
1 small French stick, cut into ½ slices
200 g Gruyere cheese, grated
- Melt the butter in a large pan and aad the peeled and thinly sliced onions.
- Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, then remove the cover and cook until they are golden brown, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to over-caramelize them as they will make the soup taste bitter.
- Stir in 2 cups water, wine, stock, thyme, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon salt, scraping up final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of the pot. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and discard herbs, then season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, mix the cornflour with about ¼ cup water until thoroughly blended. Add this mixture to the soup and stir until it comes back up to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes until the soup has thickened, then remove from heat.
- For the croutons:
- Heat oven to 200 C
- While soup simmers, arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden at edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Set individual grill-safe crocks on a baking sheet and fill each dish. Top each bowl with one or two bread slices (do not overlap slices) and sprinkle evenly with Gruyere.
- Bake gently for 5 minutes until the cheese has melted and the bread is toasty.