I love French onion soup, but if you can believe it, I think this version is even better!
Shallot Soup with Gruyere Cheese
2 1/2 lbs shallots
4 T butter
1 c white wine
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
8 c broth, half beef and half chicken
Handful of small croutons for each bowl
Grated Gruyere cheese for each bowl
Blanch the shallots briefly to allow the skins to slip off easily. Slice into 1/4 inch rounds. Heat the butter in a Dutch oven and saute the shallots for about 30 minutes until really tender. Add the wine and cook until almost completely evaporated. Add the peppercorns, bay leaf, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until broth is reduced a bit. Season with salt if desired.
Spoon soup into bowls and top with small croutons and grated cheese. Put under the broiler until cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Serve immediately.