French Onion Soup

I used to try to make this soup with shredded cheese and the cheese always ended up at the bottom of the bowl. By hanging the edges of a slice of cheese over the rim of the bowl, the cheese stays afloat. Make the onion soup ahead of time, then reheat, but don't add the bread and cheese until just before serving.

2 tablespoons butter or  margarine
4 cups sliced mild onions
6 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried savory
1/8 teaspoon salt or  to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground {black pepper}
1  bay leaf
6 slices day-old French bread
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
8 (1 ounces ) slices Swiss cheese
In a 3-quart saucepan melt the butter or margarine over medium-high heat. Add the onions; cook, stirring, until onions are very soft but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in broth, wine, sherry, thyme, savory, salt, pepper, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 50 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.

Preheat broiler.

Spoon 1 cup of soup into each of 4 oven-proof soup crocks. Float 1 slice of bread over the soup in each crock. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese over the bread and soup in each crock. Arrange the slices of Swiss cheese over the soup, so that the cheese hangs slightly over the edge of the crock.

Broil, 4 inches from the heat source, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 59-60 min

Servings: 6

Recipe By: Carol Gelles

From:  100 Best Vegetarian Recipes
Used with permission of Wiley & Co Books

Chef Suggestions
VARIATION: Use Melba toast rounds if you don't have French bread on hand. If the French bread is not stale, toast it until just lightly browned
VEGAN VARIATION: Serve the soup after step 2.