French Onion Soup
50g/2oz/4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1kg/2¼lb onions, sliced
1 tsp sugar
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
200ml/7fl oz/¾ cup white wine
1.4 litres/2½ pints/6¼ cups hot vegetable stock
salt and ground black pepper
8–12 thick slices French bread (baguette)
50g/2oz Gruyère cheese, grated
1 Heat the butter and oil in a large pan. Add the onions and cook over a very low heat, stirring frequently, until really soft and golden brown – this takes at least 30 minutes. Add the sugar,
garlic and flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
2 Turn up the heat, add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the hot stock and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
3 Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. Blitz half of the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth, then stir back into the remaining soup in the pan.
4 Preheat the grill (broiler). Lightly toast the bread slices on both sides. Reheat the soup and check the seasoning.
5 Pour the soup into four heatproof bowls. Place 2–3 slices of toasted bread on each portion and sprinkle with grated cheese. Pop the bowls under the hot grill until the cheese melts and turns golden brown. Serve immediately.