This recipe comes from my favorite new cookbook, "Nordstrom Friends and Family". You'll need soup tureens to make this look good. This recipe serves a LOT, so I would half it if you're expecting less than ten people. Also, Gruyere cheese is insanely expensive, but it's worth it for this delicious soup. It's the best French Onion Soup I've ever tasted.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 yellow onions, halved crosswise and thinly sliced
1 leek, white and light green part only, thinly sliced
8 cups canned low-sodium beef broth
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground pepper
12 baguette slices, each 1/2 inch thick, toasted
4 cups (1 pound) shredded Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon snipped fresh chives
In 1 6-8 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until tan, about 1 minute. Add the onions and leek and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft and lightly carmelized, about 30 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a summer, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes longer.
While the soup is simmering, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.
Ladle the soup into individual overnproof crocks. Place 2 baguette slices on top of the soup in each crock. Mound the cheese evenly among the crocks, covering the bread slices completely. Place the crocks on a sturdy, rimmed baking sheet. Bake the soups until the cheese is lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the crocks to cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish each serving with chives.