2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
4 large red onions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp sugar
4 leeks (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
2-6 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste), minced
8 cups of beef stock
1/2 cup of white or red wine
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme (thyme is very potent)
salt and pepper
12 slices of baguette (toasted or dried)
1 cup of Swiss or Gruyere cheese
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the oil.
Add the onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until translucent (about 20 minutes)
Add the sugar and leeks and continue cooking for another 20 minutes (cooking onions low and slow bring out the natural sugars in the onions). The more colour the onions have, the more flavour they will have.Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
Add beef stock, wine, bay leaf and thyme.
Cover partially and simmer until the flavours are well blended, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Discard the bay leaf.
Pre-heat broiler. Ladle the soup into over-proof French onion bowls.
Place 2-3 slices of bread on top of each bowl and sprinkle with cheese.
Place bowls onto a cookie sheet and place under the broiler until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned (3-4 minutes) Serve immediately.