French Onion Soup with Gruyere Toast
A classic soup - superbly warming and satisfying for a wintry evening
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 ½ hours
700g medium white onions, peeled & sliced
2 tsp caster sugar
2 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
1 tbsp flour
1.5 litres beef stock
1 bouquet garni (bay leaves, thyme & parsley)
275 ml dry white wine
2 tbsp cognac
Freshly ground salt & pepper
For the Gruyere Toast
4 slices of baguette, 2cm thick
2 garlic cloves, peeled
225g gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
1. Heat the butter in a large pan, when melted add the onions, garlic and sugar and cook over a medium heat. Stir regularly for 20-30 minutes until the onions are really soft and well caramelized.
2. Now add the flour, mix well and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the wine and leave to simmer until it has reduced by half.
3. Add the beef stock, cognac and bouquet garni, cover and leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni and season the soup to taste.
4. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 150°C/Gas Mark 2. Place the slices of bread onto a baking tray and leave them to dry out but not brown. Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 220°C/Gas Mark 7.
5. Rub ½ a clove of garlic over each piece of bread.
6. To serve, place a slice of bread at the bottom of an ovenproof soup bowl and ladle the soup on top, making sure the onions and soup are evening distributed. Cover the soup with the cheese, place the bowls onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.