5 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups beef stock
4 cups fresh apple cider
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 slices of French bread 1/8 thick
8 thin slices of Gruyere cheese
3 to 4 cups grated smoked cheddar cheese
1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until well browned, about 15 minutes. Taking care not to burn them. Add the stock, cider, and thyme, bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the soup for 1 ½ hours. Skim the top of the soup periodically.
2. Season the soup with salt and pepper.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put oven proof soup crocks in a large roasting pan and fill the crocks with the hot soup. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the crocks. Top each crock with a slice of bread, a slice of Gruyere cheese, and 1/3 to ½ cup grated smoked Cheddar cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly.
Notes: I haven't made this yet, but my foodie friend, Julie has and it's fabulous. This is a traditional Shaker recipe that she served at her Thanksgiving dinner. I was lucky enough to partake of the leftovers a few days later. Trust me, this stuff is excellent.