Cream of Sweet Onion Soup

6 tbsp. butter, divided
8 oz. sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced (2 1/2 cup)
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 cup boiling water
1-1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar (optional)
2 tbsp. flour
1 qt. milk
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 pumpernickel bread slices, cut in 2-inch squares, lightly toasted
1/2 cup shredded Muenster or Swiss cheese (2 oz.)

In a large heavy skillet melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add onions; cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are a rich gold, about 20 minutes. Dissolve bouillon cubes in boiling water. Add to skillet along with caraway, salt and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until liquid evaporates, about 15 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter; heat until melted. Add flour; cook and stir for 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk and Worcestershire sauce; cook and stir until thickened, about 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F. To serve, ladle soup into 4 individual oven-proof soup bowls. Float 1 piece of toast on each; sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake, uncovered, until cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve at once.

Makes 4 servings

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana