French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Growing up, my Mum used to make this often, each time floating the amazing bready cheesy croutons on the top like a moulten lake of cheese over the soup.  I was much older before I worked out how to make these islands of cheese, and they really do make the soup something special.  Gruyere cheese is the secret!

90 grams butter
5 large brown onion, cut into thin rings
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of raw sugar
500mls good stock or beef consommé
1 litre water
½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons of Sherry or Cognac
1 tablespoon of flour
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 200°C

Heat the butter in a large saucepan, add onions and sugar and brown well.  Add flour, garlic, salt and pepper and increase heat.  Add stock, water, wine and bring to a rapid boil for 2 minutes.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Add Sherry and simmer for another 10 minutes then remove from heat.
Transfer soup to an oven proof presentation dish or individual dishes as an entrée and cover the surface of the soup with French Onion Soup Toppers.

French Onion Soup Croutons:

1 Baguette
125 grams butter
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon salt
200 grams gruyere cheese

Slice the baguette into even discs and grill one side only.  In a small pan (or the microwave) melt the butter together with the garlic.  Dip the bread discs into the garlic butter on both sides and float the slices of baguette onto the surface of the soup grilled side down so the entire top of the soup is covered. 

Cover the top of the soup with gruyere cheese and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and brown on top.
Serve immediately with a smattering of snipped parsley.