Sunday, February 08, 2009

French Onion Soup

I made this last night, much better than wearing an extra pullover in these freezing temperatures!

Serves 6

1½ lb (700 g) onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 oz (50 g) butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
½ -1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
2 pints (1.2 L) vegetable or beef stock.
10 fl oz (275 ml) dry white wine
2 tablespoons Cognac (Optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Home made chunky croutons.
Grated cheese.

Place the saucepan on a high heat and melt the oil and butter together. When this is very hot, add the onions, and sugar, and stir them well from time to time until the edges of the onions have turned dark – this will take approx 6 minutes. Then reduce the heat to its lowest setting, add the garlic and leave the to carry on cooking very slowly for about 30 minutes, by which time the base of the pan will be covered with a rich, nut brown, caramelised film.

After that, pour in the white wine, bring to the boil, add the stock, then stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the base of the pan well. As soon as it comes back to simmering, turn down the heat to its lowest setting, then leave it to cook very gently, without a lid, for about 1 hour. Season as required.

If it's extra-cold outside, add a couple of tablespoons of Cognac!

Spoon into bowls, add chunky croutons, grate cheese over the top and put under hot grill until the cheese has melted slightly.

Serve. Remember it will be VERY hot!

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