Friday, May 29, 2015

French Onion Soup

Now that the cold weather is starting to kick in, I am craving lovely flavourful soups.

I bought myself a new cookbook the other day, Bill's Basics by Bill Granger. It had in it a recipe for French Onion Soup that just looked too tasty not to try.

All I can say is THANK GOODNESS for my nifty mandolin. It sure makes chopping over a kilo of onions far less than tedious. If you don't have one, get one! Stat! The stirring of the onions to make them all lovely, soft and golden can take over an hour, so its a great Sunday afternoon option with a glass of wine in hand.

I have to say that the finished product looked exactly like the picture (alas, I gobbled mine up too fast so used the one straight from the cookbook).

Do give it a try, its so warm and comforting and TASTY. Not at all like an onion!

Recipe below, thanks Bill!

80g butter
1.25kg brown onions, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
3 thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon plain flour
125ml (1/2 cup) white wine
1 litre (4 cups) beef stock 
2 egg yokls (optional)
80ml (1/3 cup) brandy (or port or sweet sherry if you don't have brandy)
250g gruyere cheese, grated
1cm thick slices of baguette, lightly toasted

Melt the butter in a large heavy based pan over a medium heat and add the onions, bay leaf and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about an hour, or until the onions are soft, golden brown and caramelised.

Add the flour and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the wine and simmer, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the stock and 375ml (1 ½ cups) extra water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Preheat the oven to 200degreesC

Whisk the egg yolks (if using) and brandy into the soup and ladle into individual ovenproof bowls. Put the bowls on a large baking tray. Sprinkle half the cheese over the top of the soup. Float one or two baguettes slices in each bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve immediately.

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