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Back when I grew up I was inspired by The French Cheif Julia Child .... That and my preservice brings me to today with My Spin on the French Classic


5 -6 cups yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs) 3 tablespoons of EVOO Olive Oil 2 tablespoons butter 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons flour 6 cups beef stock (preferably homemade) 1 cup wine (dry red or white) 1 bay leaf 1⁄2 teaspoon ground sage salt and pepper 12 ounces swiss cheese, grated 4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated 1⁄2 raw yellow onion 2 -3 tablespoons cognac 8 slices French bread (about 1 inch thick) 4 tablespoons olive oil, for drizzling

DIRECTIONS Place a heavy bottom pan over medium-low heat. Add 3 Tbs cooking oil, 2Tbs butter to pot. Add sliced onions and stir until they are evenly coated with the oil. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until they are very tender and translucent. To brown or caramelize the onions turn heat under the pot to medium or medium-high heat. Add 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt and continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently until the onions have browned and reduced significantly. Once caramelized, reduce heat to medium-low and add 3 Tbs flour to the onions. Brown the flour for about 2-3 minutes trying not to scorch it. (If the flour does not form a thick paste, you can add a bit more butter here). Stir in about 1 cup of warm stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up all of the cooked-on bits. Add the rest of the stock, wine, sage, and bay leaf to the soup. Simmer for 30 minutes. To make the "croutes" (toasted bread), heat oven to 325 degrees F. Drizzle each side of the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and place on baking sheet. Cook the croutes for 15 minutes in oven on each side (30 minutes total). Check the soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Remove the bay leaf (if you can find it). Transfer to a casserole dish. At this point, you can add the 2-3 Tbs cognac and grate the 1/2 raw onion into the soup. Add a few ounces of the swiss cheese directly into the soup and stir. Place the toasted bread in a single layer on top of the soup. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese in a thick layer on top of the bread making sure to cover the edges of the toast to prevent burning. Drizzle with a little oil or melted butter. Place in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes. Turn on broiler and brown cheese well. Let cool for a few minutes. Bon Appetit!

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