Microwaving the onions for 10 minutes before you start caramelizing them cuts the preparation time for this soup down by about half.
• 2 ½ pounds of yellow onions, peeled, halved, and sliced into ¼ inch slices
• ¼ pound unsalted butter
• 2 teaspoons flour
• ¼ cup brandy
• 1 cup wine: white if using beef or chicken stock, red if using vegetable
• 6 cups stock: beef, chicken, or vegetable
• 1 bouquet garni (a bundle of herbs tied in cheese cloth—I like to use thyme, bay leaf, and sage)
• salt and pepper
• bread and Gruyère cheese for croutons
Microwave onions in a bowl for five to 10 minutes, pausing and stirring periodically, until the onion releases water and wilts down.
Sauté onions with butter and a few pinches of salt over medium-low heat until they become golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Add the flour and mix together.
Deglaze with brandy and simmer for five minutes, until the alcohol is almost burned off entirely. Add wine and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add stock and bouquet garni, bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes. Taste and season.
Serve with a Gruyère crouton (cheese melted over toasted bread)