French Onion Soup
10 medium sweet onions (or 5 very large ones) or a combination of sweet and red onions
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white wine
10 ounces can beef consommé
10 ounces chicken broth
12 ounces apple cider (unfiltered is best)
Bouquet garni of thyme, bay leaf, and parsley
1 loaf French bread
Ground black pepper
Splash of cognac (optional)
1 cup Fontina or Gruyere cheese, grated
1. Trim the ends off each onion then slice from end to end. Remove peel and finely slice into half-moon shapes.
2. Set electric skillet to 300 degrees and add butter. Once butter has melted, add a layer of onions and sprinkle with a little salt. Repeat layering onions and salt until all onions are in the skillet. Do not try stirring until onions have sweated down for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, stir occasionally until onions are dark mahogany and reduced to approximately 2 cups. This should take 45 minutes to 1 hour. Do not worry about burning.
3. Add enough wine to cover the onions and turn heat to high, reducing the wine to a syrup consistency. Add consommé, chicken broth, apple cider, and bouquet garni. Reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Place oven rack in top third of oven and heat broiler.
5. Cut bread in rounds large enough to fit mouth of oven-safe soup crocks. Place the slices on a baking sheet and place under broiler for 1 minute.