As many of us spend time outside in the winter weather, nothing warms you up like a steaming cup of soup. This recipe is rather simple in that it does not have many ingredients. It is worth the slight labor of love in the time spent caramelizing the onions which turn sweet and mellow when properly cooked. I happen to make my own chicken and beef stock at home but if you use store-bought make sure to buy those with minimal salt added so you can control the seasoning as you cook.

2 1/2 pounds yellow onions
3 Tbl. unsalted butter
2 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
8 c beef, chicken, or vegetable broth – I find the most flavorful combination is half beef and half chicken broth
3 Tbl. Better Batter Gluten Free flour
1/2 c white wine, optional
1/4 c brandy, optional
6 to 8 gluten free baguette slices, toasted
1 1/2 to 3 c shredded Gruyere or Parmesan cheese (1/4 to 1/2 c per serving)
Minced raw shallot, onion, or herbs, to garnish

Prepare the onions by peeling away the skin and slicing the whole onion in half from end to end. From each half an onion, slice into thin half moons. You will have about 6 cups of chopped onions from the 2 1/2 lbs.

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven melt the butter with the oil over medium-low heat. Once the butter has melted add the onions and stir to coat. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes on low heat. The onions should have wilted down a little. Stir in 1 tsp salt, a generous quantity of black pepper, and 1/2 tsp sugar which helps to caramelize the onions. Turn the heat up to medium and cook the onion mixture, uncovered, stirring every few minutes, until the onions are deeply browned. Turn down the heat if the onions scorch or stick to the pan; the browning doesn’t come through burning, but through slow, even caramelization. As the onions approach a deep walnut color, heat the broth in a separate pot. Add 3 Tbl flour to the caramelized onions and cook and stir for about 1 minute. Add the hot broth to the caramelized onions and bring to a boil. If using wine, add this now too. Lower the heat and partially cover the pan. (If you want to add other aromatics such as herbs or spices, do so now.) Cook gently over low heat for at least 1 hour or until the broth is slightly reduced.

Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed, this will greater depend on whether you are using homemade broth, or a reduced sodium store-bough broth. Add a finishing splash of brandy, if desired.

Before serving, slice a gluten free baguette into 1/2- to 3/4-inch rounds. Brush with olive oil and toast in the oven until just light brown on the edges. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Divide the soup small but deep oven-safe bowls or coffee mugs. Top each with a slice (or two) of toasted baguette and sprinkle grated cheese in a thick layer over the bread and up to the edge of the bowl. Place bowls on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish and bake until cheese is thoroughly melted, bubbling, and attains a deep brown color.Carefully remove the soup from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before adding freshly ground pepper. Top with optional raw shallot, onion, or herbs such as thyme or parsley.