Hearty French onion soup is deeply comforting during the colder months. The slow-cooked caramelized onions are both mellow and sweet and when paired with crunchy, warm croutons this makes for a satisfying dish perfect for lunch or suppers on cold evenings.
For the Soup:
- 1½ lb. onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 oz. butter
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 pints beef stock
- 10 fl oz. dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons of Cognac (optional)
- Freshly milled salt
- Freshly milled pepper
For the Croutons:
- French baguette cut into 1-inch diagonal slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 8oz Gruyère cheese (optional)
- Begin by making the croutons. Drizzle the olive oil over a large sheet of baking paper and scatter the crushed garlic on top. Take your sliced French baguette and rub each side of the bread across the baking paper to coat in the garlic and olive oil.
- Bake the bread in a pre-heated (180°F) oven for twenty minutes, or until crispy.
- Next, place a large non-stick saucepan on a high heat and melt together the butter and olive oil. When the pan is very hot, add the onions, garlic and sugar. Using a wooden spoon, turn the onions over every couple of minutes until they begin to turn dark around the edges.
- Once the onions start to brown, turn the heat onto its lowest setting and leave the onions to slowly cook and caramelise for thirty minutes. After this time, the mixture will have turned dark brown, sticky and nutty. Pour the white wine and beef stock into the pan, and using your wooden spoon, gently stir – pulling the onions away from the base of the pan as you go. Turn the heat up to a mid-temperature and add salt and pepper to season.
- As soon as the soup starts to simmer, turn the heat back to its lowest setting and leave to cook away, without a lid, for 60 minutes. This will allow the flavours to infuse.
- When you're ready to serve, bring the soup back to simmering point. Add a couple of spoonfuls of Cognac (optional) to taste and additional seasoning if desired.
- Ladle the soup into pre-warmed soup bowls and place your earlier-prepared croutons on top. Sprinkle over the thickly grated Gruyère cheese and serve immediately.
Recipe Credit: Delia Online