We’ve tried different ways to caramelize onions—in the oven, in the slow cooker—but patient, slow cooking on the stove top still works every time. Tangy, garlicky cheese toast tastes heavenly on top (and won’t get soggy)!
Note: You can make the soup itself ahead of time and refrigerate. When ready to serve, rewarm the soup while you make the cheese toasts.
6 as a first course
- In a heavy, large pot over medium heat, combine the butter, onions, bay leaf, thyme, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are very brown, about 45 minutes. Add the flour and stir 3 minutes.
- Stir in the wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in the broth, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and generously butter the foil.
- Combine the butter, garlic, parsley, and thyme in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the herb butter on the bread slices and place buttered side up on the lined, buttered baking sheet.
- Top each with a slice of cheese and bake until the cheese is browned and bubbly, about 8 minutes.
- To serve, ladle about 3/4 cup soup into each of 6 small bowls. Top each bowl of soup with a slice of cheese toast, and serve immediately. (For mega cheese lovers, feel free to add another slice or three of cheese on top of the bowl and stick the whole thing under the broiler!)
Recipe by Tara Tuckwiller