Usually Soup Sunday is restricted to Winter, but the weather in Melbourne over the last few days has resembled the middle of Winter, so I guess this isn't so out of place. Besides, french onion soup has always been one of my favourite soups. I love its rich, deep broth and melt-in-your-mouth onions. You just have to be careful you don't over-do it or you could put any baked bean lover to shame!
I made this recipe last year when I was doing my weekly Soup Sundays, but never got around to posting about this one in particular. So when this book came up as my Cookbook Challenge book for this week I thought it would be a good opportunity to finally share this recipe. It is meant to have 2 tablespoons of cognac in it, but we didn't have any and I didn't see the point in buying a bottle only to use a tiny bit out of it. If you have some lying around, add it right before serving. The cheese croutons really make this soup, so if you have the time be sure to make them.
French Onion Soup Serves 6
Preheat oven to 180C. Drizzle 1Tbsp olive oil onto a large baking sheet, add 2 crushed garlic cloves and mix together with hands. Cut 1 crusty breadstick into 2.5cm slices and place on top of oil. Turn over to coat both sides with garlic oil and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Place a large, heavy based saucepan over high heat and melt together 2Tbsp olive oil & 50g butter. When this is very hot, add 700g thinly sliced onions, 2 crushed garlic cloves & 1/2tsp sugar, and keep turning them from time to time until the dges of the onions have turned dark - this will take about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook slowly for another 30 minutes. Pour in 1.2L beef stock & 275ml dry white wine and season to taste with salt & pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon until it comes to a simmer and then cook uncovered on a low heat for 1 hour.
Sprinkle croutons with 225g grated gruyere cheese and put under hot grill until cheese is bubbling. Serve immediately with hot soup.
Well, cookbook challenge book #14 had a short life on the podium! Eat well, Live well by The Reader's Digest is up next and I already know what I am cooking from it. I'll share it with you in tomorrows Menu Plan Monday post.