French onion soup
( SERVES 4 )
French onion soup is a popular cafe choice and is easy to make at home. Traditionally, the cheese used is gruyere which is delicious, but more expensive than cheddar, hence our choice.
- Finely slice the onions into rings. Heat the butter and oil on a medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onions and crushed garlic and gently cook for 15 minutes until onions are soft. Increase the heat and add the red wine, allow to bubble and reduce.
- Add sugar, beef stock, water, red wine, salt and pepper and bouquet garni. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes stirring occasionally. Add brandy/sherry (optional) and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the bread slices with cheese. Place under grill until golden-brown on one side. Pour soup into individual ovenproof soup bowls.
- Place bread slices on top of soup browned side down. Top with grated cheese. Place under grill until melted. Serve soup and top with cheese melts, serve immediately.