Classic French onion soup
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- 1tbsp soft brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 200ml/7fl oz white wine
- 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
- 50ml/2fl oz brandy
- 50ml/2fl oz dry sherry
- 1 litre/1¾ pint fresh dark beef stock
- 1 baguette, sliced thickly
- 110g/4oz Gruyère cheese, grated
Heat a large frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the onions, thyme and sugar. Fry for 10-15 minutes over a medium-low heat, or until softened and golden-brown, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the white wine and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the brandy and sherry, then pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a griddle until hot. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the bread and toast on one side. Set aside.
Season the soup to taste, adding a little more sugar or alcohol if needed.
Preheat the grill to high. Place the cheese on top of the bread and grill until bubbling and golden-brown.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the cheesy bread, toasted side down.