Mirassou Merlot 2002
About 6 onions (half red, half yellow) halved lengthwise and sliced into half-rings
3/4 stick butter
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
2-3 tablespoons flour
1/2 bottle decent-quality dry red wine (merlot or cabernet sauvignon)
3 10.5 oz cans beef consomme
1 qt beef broth
2 bay leaves
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
one baguette or other crusty french-type bread
a little less than one pound grated gruyere
Melt the butter in a large, heavy pot over moderately low heat. Add onions, sugar and a pinch of salt and allow to caramelize, stirring frequently. Be patient, be sure they do not burn.
When onions have lost much of their volume and begin to darken in color, about 45 minutes to an hour, add the flour. Cook about 45 seconds, stirring, to get the raw flour taste out.
Add the wine, increase heat to medium-high and reduce the wine to a thick syrup.
Add the bay leaves, thyme, consomme and broth, and increase heat to high.
Bring soup to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.
Slice and toast bread.
Ladle soup into bowls.
Float croutons on top and cover with gruyere.
Place in broiler 2-3 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.