The most important element of this soup is the slow-cooked caramelized onions. My little trick to really elevate the flavor was the addition of the red cayenne pepper.
Four Large Red Onions, Peeled And Thinly Sliced
Two Tablespoons Of Olive Oil
A Tablespoon Of Unsalted Butter
1/4 Teaspoon Of Sugar
Two Minced Garlic Cloves
Three Cups Of Beef Stock
1/4 Cup Of Dry White Wine (Select One That You Would Drink)
A Bay Leaf
Two Fresh Italian Parsley Sprigs
Two Fresh Thyme Sprigs
A Teaspoon Of Sea Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Of Red Cayenne Pepper
1/8 Teaspooon Of Ground Black Pepper
In a soup pot, saute the onions in the olive oil and the butter on medium high heat until well browned, but not burned. This step should take about thirty minutes. Stir often to keep the onions from sticking. Every once in awhile, you can add a splash of cold water to the pot and scrape the bottom to keep the onions from burning. Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to facilitate the caramelization.
When the onions have achieved a brown color, add the white wine. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the brown bits of onion that have accumulated. Add the beef stock, the bay leaf and the garlic. Reduce the heat to low. Tie the thyme and the parsley sprigs together with cooking twine and drop the bundle into the pot. Add the sea salt, the black pepper and the red cayenne pepper. Stir well. Cover and simmer on low heat while stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.
When you are ready to serve, remove the bay leaf and the herb bundle. Taste and add more sea salt and/or pepper, as needed. To serve, ladle the soup into oven-proof soup bowls. Top with toast and shredded cheese (gruyere and parmesan work well). Place under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned.