French Onion Soup for a winter’s evening

The Page-Turner and I were walking through Oxford market admiring all of the fresh fruit and vegetables when The PT bought 1 kg of onions for £1 and she told me about this amazing French Onion Soup recipe she was going to make this weekend. She and her OH highly recommend it for a cold winter’s evening and we are in for some of those I understand from the weathermen!

 

Ingredients: serves 4

50g butter

1 kg onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves

1 tbspn granulated sugar

2 tbspns Cognac or brandy

300 ml dry cider

1.2 litres Beef Stock

1 bouquet garni (1 sprig each of parsley, thyme & bay)

seas salt & freshly ground pepper

Garlic toasts:

4 tbspn olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 small baguette sliced

200g Gruyère cheese

How to prepare:

Preheat the oven to 180℃. To make the garlic toasts, mix the olive oil and garlic together and season well. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking tray and brush with the garlic oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until crisp.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan or casserole over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and stir until starting to soften. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook gently for 25-30 minutes until really softened.

Take the lid off and add the sugar. Cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring until golden brown and extremely floppy-looking. This is the secret to a successful onion soup. Pour in the Cognac and cider and leave to bubble up for 1 minute. Add the stock and bouquet garni and stir to blend. Simmer for 45 minutes, then season to taste. Remove the bouquet garni.

Preheat the grill. Divide the soup between 4 ovenproof bowls and place them on a baking tray. Float 2-3 garlic toasts on top of each bowl and scatter the Gruyère over the toasts. Grill until the Gruyère is bubbling and golden. Remove the baking tray and lift off the hot bowls with an oven glove, warning everyone that they are hot!

This recipe comes from Soups by Tonia George.