French Onion Soup from Michelle:
based on Julia Child's recipe
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon table salt, plus additional to taste
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar (helps the onions to brown)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 Cups beef stock
1 C. red wine (I use cooking wine)
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated raw onion
1 to 2 cups (to taste) grated Swiss (I often use Gruyere) or a mixture of Swiss and Parmesan cheese. Melt the butter and oil together in the bottom of a 4- to 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over moderately low heat. Add the onions, toss to coat them in oil and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to real low and let them slowly steep for 15-20 minutes. Uncover the pot, raise the heat slightly and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook onions, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes until they have turned an even, deep golden brown. Don’t skimp on this step, as it will build the complex and intense flavor base that will carry the rest of the soup. After the onions are fully caramelized, sprinkle them with flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes until flour forms a thick paste (add more butter if needed). Stir in 1 cup of beef stock, and stir heavily for a couple seconds. Add the rest of the stock, wine, sage, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Add grated raw onion. Correct seasonings if needed but go easy on the salt as the cheese will add a bit more saltiness.
I love the way it's served at restaurants (with a crouton and broiled cheese on top), but I wasn't able to duplicate it at home, so I sprinkle it with some Italian shredded cheese and buttered, toasted bread for dipping.