A soup that is perfect for wintery days. This is not a soup to make if you are in a hurry, as it is the long slow cooking of the onions which gives the soup such a deep, rich flavour
- 50g (2oz) butter
- 1dsp olive oil
- 800g (1lb 12oz) onions, thinly sliced
- 1tsp sugar
- 1tsp salt
- 35g (1¼oz) plain flour
- 150ml (¼pt) white wine
- 1.7 litres (3pt) beef stock, hot
- 3tbsp Cognac or brandy
- 12 slices of baguette, toasted
- 150g (5oz) Gruyère
If you wish to serve the soup “au gratin”, ladle the soup into bowls placed on a baking tray. Float the bread slices on top and sprinkle with the cheese. Place in a moderate oven for 10 minutes, then brown under a grill
Melt the butter with the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add the onions and stir around so that they get coated in the butter. Cover and leave to sweat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lid and add the sugar, salt and plenty of black pepper. Continue to cook on a gentle heat for a further 35 minutes, stirring regularly until the onions begin to caramelise, but be careful not to let them burn. Sprinkle on the flour and stir well, then gradually add the white wine, making sure there are no lumps. Gradually add the hot beef stock, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 30 minutes.
To serve the soup, add the Cognac stir well, check the seasoning and ladle into warmed soup bowls. Serve with the toasted baguette and cheese separately.