Heat butter and oil over medium low heat in large kettle. Add onions, salt, sugar and pepper and stir well. Cook very gently 30-40 minutes until limp and well caramelized. Add the garlic, cloves, paprika and raisins and cook one minute until their aromas are released. Add Madeira and simmer until reduced by half. Add stock, bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer covered one hour, then simmer uncovered 30 minutes more. Place one crouton in the bottom of each serving bowl and ladle soup over.
c.1996, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved