For those of you who only like to eat the melted cheese and bread in french onion soup, this is the perfect alternative! INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 3 large brown onions, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 2 bay leaves 2 sprigs fresh thyme 2 cups beef stock or broth 8 slices french bread 2 cups gruyère cheese DIRECTIONS: 1. Heat a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add 4 tablespoons butter and allow to melt. Throw in the sliced onions and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent and just beginning to brown. Add the bay leaves and fresh thyme. Lower the heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes until brown and caramelized. 2. Add the beef stock and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes to develop the flavor of the soup. Remove from heat and allow to cool down. 3. To make the grilled cheeses: Lay out the slices of bread. Sprinkle each half with shredded gruyère. Using a pair of thongs, grab the caramelized onions from the soup, draining off as much of the liquid as possible and lay them out onto half of the slices. Sprinkle with a few fresh thyme leaves. Sandwich the grilled cheeses together. Spread both sides, liberally, with the remaining butter. 4. Heat a large skillet over medium-heat. Cook the grilled cheeses about 2 to 5 minutes per side, until golden brown and the cheese has melted. Serve warm with a side of the soup broth for dunking.