French Onion Soup
4 large onions, halved lengthwise, then sliced lengthwise
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 stick unsalted butter
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup red wine (I like Pinot Noir for this dish)
2 quarts beef broth
6 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices of baguette
1/2 pound grated Gruyere
1/2 pound sliced raclette
6 (8- to 10-oz) flameproof soup crocks or ramekins. Alternate method below for soup bowls.
Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low and add, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the onions have absorbed most of the wine, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. With the heat still on low, stir in the flour and cook 7-8 mins stirring frequently. Add in the beef broth and bring to a quick boil then reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350.
Place the baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Heat 5-7 minutes on each side to toast then remove. Place the ramekins in a shallow baking dish and fill about 1/2 full with soup.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of Gruyere to each. Top with a bit more soup and then float 2-3 of the baguette slices on top. Top each ramekin with several slices of raclette.
Place in the oven and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes.