Tbsp unsalted butter
cups sliced yellow onion, about 4 lbs.
tsp black pepper
Honeycrisp or Pink Lady apple, peeled, quartered, and cut into julienne strips
Madeira wine or dry sherry
cups lower sodium beef broth
cup apple cider
Tbsp sherry vinegar
oz. slices sourdough bread, cut into 1" cubes
cups , 8oz., grated Gruyere or swiss cheese
Thyme leaves, optional
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Continue cooking 50 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add pepper, apple, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves; cook 3 minutes or till apples soften. Add wine; cook 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add broth and cider; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Discard bay leaves, stir in vinegar. Preheat broiler. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a jelly roll pan; broil 2 minutes or until toasted, turning after one minute. Preheat oven to 500. Ladle 1 cup of soup into 10 ovenproof soup bowls. Devide the croutons evenly among the bowls, and top each serving with about 3 Tbsp cheese. Place bowls on a jelly roll pan. Bake at 500 for 8 minutes or till cheese melts. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.