Heat oil in a large pot over medium low heat, add onions an cook, stirring about 20 minutes.Add garlic cook another 20 minutes. Add broth and thyme, raring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add bread.let stand for about 10 minutes. Remove thyme and let cool slightly. Working in batches puree soup in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine wire into a larger pot. Can be made a day ahead. Cover and chill. Cook bacon until brown and crispy.
Bring soup to a simmer add to bowls add bacon and cheese.
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