Nothing warms and satisfies the soul like this classic soup!
1. Melt butter in pot over medium heat, and then add sliced onions and garlic paste, and sprinkle with a couple of pinches of kosher salt.
2. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours, stirring occasionally so nothing burns or sticks. Onions should be reduced and golden brown. If not, up the heat and cook some more – you want a nice dark brown color, but no blackened onions.
3. Increase heat to medium, add Bay Leaf, Thyme, Paprika, salt and pepper and stir for 1 minute.
4. Add white wine and reduce for 3 minutes or until almost evaporated
5. Add flour and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Add Stock or Consommé and simmer for 2 hours.
7. Remove bay leaf and let cool on stove for 15 minutes, Heat oven to 500.
8. Move top rack near broiler in oven and switch oven to broiler.
9. Place 4 bowls on cookie sheet, fill each with 1 TB of Sherry or Kirsch, then fill ¾+ full with soup, float bread on top, and layer the ¼ pile of grated cheese (or more or less as desired) on top each piece of bread.
10. Place cookie sheet with bowls directly under broiler for about 5 minutes, until bubbly and golden, but not burnt.
11. Remove from oven and let rest a few minutes before serving.
By using a younger cheese, about 6 months and not aged, the Gruyère will melt more smoothly.