I know it is a little late, but … Happy New Year to one and all! I hope that everyone has had a suitably indulgent Christmas and New Year. I have just returned from a trip to the UK – just in time as the snow arrived two days ago and we have been snowed in ever since. However, as I type this blog the first snow plough is passing along the top road, doubtless to the dismay of our neighbours’ children who are enjoying a ‘snow day’.
This type of weather demands warm food and I can think of nothing better than a good soup. If you have got the time then French onion soup is delicious. The secret to a good French onion soup is taking the time to let your onions soften completely otherwise you don’t get their beautifully sweet flavour coming through (and I think we all know about the side effect of uncooked onions…).
This type of soup tastes infinitely better if you use a good beef stock, not only as it gives a slightly richer flavour than a chicken stock, but it deepens the colour. This is really a soup to try, but just make sure you don’t rush it. Enjoy.
French Onion Soup with Cheese Croutons (Serves 6)
For the soup:
- 1kg onions (finely sliced)
- 2/3 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 1tbsp sugar
- 4/5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1l stock (preferably beef stock)
- 2 ½ glasses dry white wine
For the cheese croutons:
- 6 slices of French bread
- 100g grated Emmental or Gruyere
1. Gently heat the oil in a large pan.
2. Add the onions and sugar, cover with a lid and cook very gently, stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes on a low heat until they are soft.
3. Add the thyme and the wine and cook for about 10 minutes on a slightly higher temperature.
4. Then add the beef stock, season well and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
5. Just before you are ready to serve, remove the sprigs of thyme from the soup and make your croutons by toasting the slices of French bread, scattering over the cheese and then melting under a medium grill for 1-2 minutes.