1/2 cup butter
5 pounds onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 quarts beef broth
1 cup white wine (optional)
1 dash browning sauce
1 loaf French bread, cut into 1 inch slices
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the onions; cook, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 hours.
When the onions are ready, add the pepper, salt, bay leaf and flour. Stir over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour in the beef broth and white wine. Simmer for 2 hours over low heat. Adjust the coloring to a rich brown with the browning sauce. Taste, and adjust salt if needed.
Preheat your oven’s broiler. Ladle the soup into oven-proof bowls, and place them on a baking sheet. Float a slice of French bread in each bowl, and top with some Swiss cheese. Broil until cheese is browned. Serve immediately.