You might think this soup is another feeble attempt for me to profess my love for the mandoline, and while I couldn't go through this post with out at least mentioning it, I swear I'll keep the mandoline-obsession-talk to a minimum. In reality, my love of onion soup runs deep, holding the torch as my favorite soup for 20+ years running.
These days, it is rarely enjoyed outside my home (as with most soups, which are usually not vegetarian-friendly). Which perhaps making it even more of a treat with each bowl. Hours after meal time, my tongue is still tingling with a bit of pain, from a taste or two I couldn't resist sneaking from the pot. But the punishment is so worth it.
4 medium onions, sliced thin
4 large shallots, sliced thin
3 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 c red wine
1 T sherry
1 T flour
4 c water (or vegetable broth)
1/2 t pepper
1-2 t salt
4 one-inch slices Ciabatta bread
1 oz Gruyere cheese, cut into thin slices
2 T chopped chives
In a large pan, heat butter and olive oil over low heat. Add onions and shallots and cook 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown and caramelized. Pour in red wine and sherry, scraping brown pits off bottom of the pan. Whisk in flour, until smooth. Add water, pepper and salt, to taste (add less salt if using vegetable broth). Increase heat to medium-low and allow to simmer 10 minutes.
Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet. Top with Gruyere and broil, 2 minutes, until golden brown and toasted. Divide soup among four serving bowls. Top each with a slice of bread. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately.