French Onion Soup

My parents used to make this quite a lot when I grew up in Austria and what a treat it was each time. So simple, yet so delicious. It is one of the ultimate comfort foods and ideal to prepare in advance and serve later.

I made this for a dinner party the other day and everything was ready before the guests arrived. As soon as the first guest rang the door bell I switched the stove on to heat the soup. Then once the guests were settled with a drink, I went back to the kitchen, ladled the soup into bowls, added a slice of baguette into the bowl and topped it with grated Gruyere cheese. Under the broiler to melt the cheese and voilà – Dinner is ready 🙂

Recipe French Onion Soup

Serves 4

  • 4 large onions
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 700 ml vegetable stock
  • 4 slices Baguette
  • 60 g Gruyère cheese, grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel and quarter the onions and slice or chop them into small pieces. Heat the oil and butter in a pan, so that the onions form a thick layer. Fry the onions briskly for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and cook gently for 45 – 60 minutes. At first the onions need to be stirred only occasionally, but as they begin to colour, stir frequently. The colour of the onions gradually turns golden and then more rapidly to brown, so take care to stir constantly at this stage so that they do not burn on the bottom. When the onions are a rich mahogany brown, add the vegetable stock and a little seasoning. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the broiler. Spoon the soup into four ovenproof serving dishes and place a piece of bread in each. Sprinkle with the cheese and broil for a few minutes, until golden. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

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