4cupsvegetable brothI use 4 cups of water plus 3 teaspoons of "Better Than Bouillon" Vegetable Base
6ouncesGruyeregrated (Provolone works nicely too)
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper and sauté for a few seconds, until you can smell the garlic sautéing. Remove from heat.
(If you don't have caramelized onions already prepared, add four sliced medium onions to the herb-butter mixture now and continue to cook over medium-low heat until very soft and caramelly. This will take no less than one hour. Don't rush it or your onions may turn out bitter.)
Prepare Baguette Croutons:
Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Brush lightly with the garlic-herb butter from the pot. Set under broiler just long enough to toast lightly. Flip the baguette rounds over and repeat. Set aside.
To the remaining herb-butter mixture, add the caramelized onions and cook until the mixture is hot and there is very little liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are nearly dry, about 5 minutes. If you used fresh thyme, discard the thyme sprigs. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. (This is to cook out the raw flour taste.) Now add the vegetable stock, return to a simmer, and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Season, to taste.
When you are ready to serve, ladle hot soup into oven-safe bowls and float several of the prepared baguette croutons on top. Sprinkle with grated gruyere and place under broiler just long enough to melt and slightly brown the cheese.
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