Having just returned from Paris- how could I not prepare a classic soup, especially as the weather starts to cool. This soup freezes beautifully as well, just unthaw and top with bread and cheese and bake in oven-
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/c cup red wine, ½ cup white wine
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 quarts beef broth
½ qt. chicken broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated Gruyere
Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. 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 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.
When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.
Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.