3 large yellow onions, halved and sliced (pole to pole)
3 red onions, halved and sliced
6 shallots, halved and sliced
3 leeks (white parts only), halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
3 cups scallions (greens reserved for croutons), sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 750ml bottle red wine
1 small bunch thyme (12 sprigs) cut into 4" lengths
6 quarts beef stock, homemade or low-sodium canned
1 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch coins
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
In a 12-quart stockpot, saute the onions, shallots, leeks, scallion whites, garlic and a heavy pinch of salt in 2 tablespoons oil until the onions begin to caramelize. Deglaze with red wine. Add the thyme and stock to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for at least 1 hour. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
While the soup is simmering, preheat the oven to broil. Toss the bread coins with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and place flat on a sheet pan. Toss the scallion greens with the Gruyere, and top each coin with the mixture. Bake on a rack in the middle of the oven for 3 minutes and then transfer to the broiler to lightly
brown the tops. The cheese should be bubbly. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons.
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