Savoury

French Onion Soup

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Ok so this isn’t technically cake or baking but given that we are now into October its the time of year when I like to make soup and stews. Also I think for my waistline I need to try and have a rest from sugar for a week or so! I’ve made this recipe before – no particular reason why I went with this one but its a Delia one so it must be good, right?

Ingredients

Soup

  • 700g / 1Β½lb onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g / 2oz butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 0.5 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1.2 litres / 2 pints good beef stock
  • 275 ml / 10 fl oz dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp Cognac
  • salt and black pepper

Croutons

  • French bread or baguettine, cut into 2.5cm / 1 inch diagonal slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

To serve

  • 6 large or 12 small croutons
  • 225 g / 8 oz GruyΓ¨re, grated

First you need to make the croutons so preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4 and get a baking tray or dish. Drizzle the olive oil on to your baking tray or dish, add the crushed garlic and then spread the oil and garlic all over the baking sheet using your hands. Take the sliced bread and put them on top of the oil and turn over so both sides have the oil / garlic combo on. Bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes till crispy and crunchy.

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Next place a large saucepan on a high heat and melt the oil and butter. When it’s very hot, add the onions, garlic and sugar, and keep stirring them from time to time until the edges of the onions have started to turn dark – this will take about 6 minutes but try not to burn them!

Reduce the heat to its lowest setting and leave the onions to carry on cooking very slowly for about 30 minutes (not with a lid on the pan), by which time the base of the pan will be covered with a rich, nut brown, caramelised film. I must admit mine hadn’t quite got the film on but I carried on nonetheless! After that, pour in the stock, white wine and seasoning then stir, making sure you scrape the base of the pan.

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Once the soup comes up to simmering point, turn down the heat to its lowest setting, then go away and leave it to cook very gently, without a lid, for about 1 hour. When you’re ready to serve the soup, taste to check for seasoning – at this point you can add a couple of tablespoons of Cognac although I gave this a miss.

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Warm your soup bowls in the oven on a low heat and preheat the grill to its highest setting. Then ladle in the soup and top with the croutons, placing them so they float on the top of the soup. Sprinkle the grated gruyère over the croutons and place the whole lot under the grill until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling.

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I used chicken stock, rather than beef, that I had made myself a few weeks ago just to use it up so my soup wasn’t as dark as Delia’s. It was still really warming and tasted great – watch for rogue onion strips though they are very very hot!

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