- 5 sweet onions (like Vidalias) or a mix of sweet and red onions (about 4 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups white-colored wine
- 10 ounces canned beef consomme
- 10 ounces chicken broth
- 10 ounces apple cider (unfiltered is better)
- Bouquet garni thyme sprigs, bay leaf and parsley tied along with kitchen string
- 1 loaf country style bread
- Kosher salt
- Ground pepper
- A little Cognac (optional)
- 1 cup Fontina or Gruyere cheese, grated
Trim the ends off each onion then halve lengthwise. Remove peel and finely slice into half-moon shapes. Set electric skillet to 300 levels and add butter. Once butter has melted give a layer of onions and sprinkle after some salt. Repeat layering onions and salt until all onions have been in the skillet. Don't try stirring until onions have sweated lower for 15-20 minutes. Next, stir from time to time until onions are dark mahogany and reduced to roughly 2 cups. This will take forty-five minutes to at least one hour. Do not concern yourself about burning.
Add enough wine to pay for the onions and switch heat to high, lowering the wine to some syrup consistency. Add consomme, chicken broth. apple cider and bouquet garni. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.
Place oven rack in top 1/3 of oven as well as heat broiler.
Cut country bread in models big enough to suit mouth of oven safe soup crocks. Put the slices on the baking sheet and put under broiler for one minute.
Season soup mixture with salt, pepper and cognac. Remove bouquet garni and ladle soup into crocks departing 1 inch towards the lip. Place bread round, toasted side lower, on the top of soup and top with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, one to two minutes.
Recipe thanks to Alton Brown