1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 large sweet onions, sliced
2 – 3 bay leaves
1/2 cup vermouth (or sherry, or very dry white wine)
4 c. vegetable stock
2/3 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Set aside 1 – 2 cups onions. Add bay leaves and remaining onions to pan, stir to coat with butter. Cover and cook on low stirring occasionally until very tender but not browned (about 30 minutes).
2. Add the vermouth, increase heat to medium-high and boil rapidly until the liquid has evaporated. Add stock, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste. Return to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from burner and allow to cool.
3. Discard bay leaf and puree with immersion blender or food processor. Return the soup to pan.
4. In a deep skillet, melt 2 tbs. butter over medium heat and add onions. Cover and cook until tender, but not browned (about 10 minutes); uncover and continue to cook gently until golden (about 20 minutes longer). Set aside.
5. Add cream to soup and reheat over medium. Do NOT allow it to boil. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding a little lemon juice, if desired. Add the caramelized onions and stir for 1 – 2 minutes. Serve hot, sprinkled with croutons or chopped chives.