Onion Soup: Another Variation

3 tablespoons olive oil
5 large sweet yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 cloves garlic, crushed
5 cups vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried hot chiles
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 loaf sourdough French bread cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup cognac or brandy
8 oz Emmenthaler or imported Swiss cheese cut in 8 thick slices


Heat one tablespoon of oil over low heat, add onions and cook, covered, until the onions begin to brown and have absorbed the oil (about 10 minutes)
Add 3 tablespoons white wine, cover and cook and additional 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown, adding more wine if necessary
Add remaining wine, garlic, vegetable stock, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, chiles, salt and pepper
Bring to boil then simmer covered for one hour
In the meantime, preheat oven to 375 degrees
Lightly brush both sides of bread with remaining olive oil, place on baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned, remove from oven and set aside
Remove bay leaves from soup and add cognac, make any final adjustments to seasonings
Divide soup between four crocks, top each with two bread slices and cheese, broil until cheese is golden and serve immediately