1 kilo onions
90 grams butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons sugar
250 ml white wine
6 cups good beef stock
bouquet garni of parsley stalk, thyme and bayleaf
4-6 slices French bread, toasted
200 grams grated gruyere cheese
Peel and thinly slice the onions. A mandolin will do this quickly and efficiently. Melt the butter in a large, wide, heavy-based saucepan. Add the onions, garlic and sugar and spread them out evenly in the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and well caramelised. Do not allow them to catch and burn. This can take up to 40 minutes. Increase the heat and pour in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Cook until the wine is reduced by half. Add the stock and bouquet garni, season and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Preheat the grill to high.
Place 4-6 ovenproof soup bowls on a lipped baking tray and put the toasted bread in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle in the soup, dividing the onions evenly. Sprinkle the cheese over the soup and place under the grill for about 5 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. Serve immediately.