Onion Soup Gratinee

Onion Soup Gratinee
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Jean-Louis Guerin, Executive Chef, New England Culinary Institute 

1/2 lb. butter
4 lb. onions
1 sprig thyme
1 shot sherry or brandy
1/2 gallon beef stock
1/4 each bay leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste 
Worcestershire sauce

In soup pot over medium heat, melt butter.

Add onions, cook, stirring occasionally, until onions wilt, lose water, and begin to color.

Once they begin to caramelize, stir more frequently to avoid getting burn spots on the bottom of the skillet.  Season lightly with sea salt.  Keep cooking until onions are uniformly medium brown.

Deglaze skillet with sherry or brandy, add thyme, stock, and bay leaves.  Simmer 25 minutes, then transfer to shock sink.  Taste and season with finishing salt and white pepper.

Stir frequently until soup is below 70° degrees F, then store.

To finish, reheat soup to a full boil.  Divide into soup boil.  Top with a slice of toasted bread.  Sprinkle with gruyere.