Onion Soup

4 large yellow onions, sliced
3 Tbsp butter or safflower oil
1 quart vegetable stock
2 cups tomato or V-8 juice
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp tarragon
pinch of thyme
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp brandy (more if desired)
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan or Gruyère, grated
6 to 8 slices French bread, toasted (optional)


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