Soupe a l'Oignon
With a smidgen of Gruyere on toasted baguette, this is a lighter version of the French classic
3 large yellow onions, halved and sliced crosswise
2 T olive oil (or 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter)
1 t sugar
1/2 t herbes de Provence
1 heaping T flour
2/3 cup sherry
4 cups beef broth (I used water plus a good beef base)
4-8 slices baguette, sliced on the diagonal
3-4 T grated Gruyere
Freshly ground black pepper
Prep onions as directed above.
Heat the olive oil (or oil and butter) in a 3-4 quart heavy bottomed soup pot (I used a 3-quart Le Creuset Dutch oven) over medium-high flame.
Add the onions, salt and sugar and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower heat to medium-low and continue to cook, still stirring, for another 25 minutes or so, or until nicely browned and caramelized.
Add flour and stir well to combine, cooking for 2-3 minutes.
Add the sherry, broth, and herbes and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for at least an hour, uncovered. Add a few turns of freshly ground pepper and taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.
Slice baguette and lightly toast. Grate the Gruyere and divide evenly among the tops of the bread, then return to the oven and heat gently until melted. Reserve.
When ready to serve, either place a baguette slice in the bottom of a bowl and ladle soup on top, or ladle soup and perch baguette on top. Serve immediately.