Ok, so I have a slight confession to make… I was critical of having soup for dinner. To me soup seems like the kind of meal you have when you’re either not very hungry or not very imaginative. But this soup is the bomb. Seriously, it’s so good you’re thinking about making it again before you’ve even finished the bowl. And the ‘souped-up’ (see what I did there) bit of cheese on toast on the top is the best invention ever. I’m generally more of a Mediterranean foodie fan but in this case, hats off to the French. And on top of that, it’s so easy to make. This recipe is Delia’s and says it serves six but actually she lies, it was more like four (I come from a greedy family, clearly). In total it takes about two hours to make, but it’s so worth the wait!
For the soup:
- 4 large onions, finely sliced
- 50g butter
- 1/2 tsp of sugar (I used white granulated but it doesn’t matter too much)
- 2 pints good quality beef stock (or you know, oxo if you’re on a budget)
- 1 glass of white wine
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- salt and pepper to season
For the croutons:
- 1 large slice of crusty bread per portion
- grated gruyère cheese (as much as you can justify to yourself)
- 1 clove garlic
- drizzle of olive oil
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the finely diced onions, the garlic and the sugar. Sweat them slowly on a low heat for 30 mins, stirring occasionally. Don’t be tempted to turn the heat up – it’s the slow cooking which brings out the sweetness.
- Add the sugar, stir, cover the pan and leave for another half an hour on the lowest heat. Check occasionally if you’re getting nervous but it’s probably fine! When you come back the onions should be starting to turn sticky and brown with caramelised goodness.
- Add the stock to the pan, along with the wine. At this point bring the liquid up to the boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover and leave unattended for another hour. Twenty minutes before it’s ready, start the croutons.
- To make the croutons drizzle the slices of bread with olive oil and rub with garlic on both sides. Bake them at 180 degrees for 10 mins on each side.
- Ladle the soup into oven-proof bowls and place a crouton on each. Top with grated gruyère and put them under the grill in the oven until the cheese goes all bubbly and happy.
- Remove and serve.