Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
3 vidalia onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cans beef broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 loaf french bread
8 oz. grated Gruyere
Melt butter in a 4 quart saucepan. Cook onions over medium/low heat for about 20 minutes, or until tender and translucent. Stir in flour until well blended with the onions and pan juices, browning the flour well.
Add water, wine, beef broth, thyme and bay leaf; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover soup, and simmer for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cut 1 inch thick slices of bread from the loaf. Toast the bread slices at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) just until browned, about 10 minutes. Reserve the remaining bread to serve with the soup.
Ladle soup into 12 ounce, oven-safe bowls. Place toasted bread on top of the soup in each bowl. Top with generous amount of grated cheese. Place soup bowls on a cookie sheet for easier handling.
Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or just until cheese is melted.