A real treat on colder days this dish is both tasty and satisfying with its crunchy cheesy topping.
ABOVE: A wonderfully satisfying bowl of French Onion top served with crunchy cheese toppings
One and a half lbs / 700g of onions thinly sliced
A couple of tablespoons Olive Oil
2oz / 50g butter
2 cloves of garlic crushed
Pinch of sugar
Three quarters of a cup of dry white wine
A good slosh of brandy (optional)
Salt and pepper
2 pints / 1136ml of beef stock
For the Crouton Topping
French bread cut into diagonal slices
10oz / 284g Gruyére cheese, otherwise cheddar is fine
Place a large Pot on a high heat, add olive oil and then butter - allow butter to foam. Add onions and let them turn brown around the edges (Caramelise). This should take 6 to 10 minutes so keep on checking. Reduce the heat and add the garlic, sugar and seasoning. Keep turning this mixture until heat is reduced and leave to cook for about half an hour on a low to medium heat. The pan base should be nutty brown.
Now add in stock, white wine and brandy, scraping the base of the pan. As soon as it begins bubbling turn heat down to the lowest setting. Leave to cook away gently, without a lid for 50 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile drizzle olive oil on the bread slices and toast them in a hot oven for 6 to 10 minutes at 180 to 200°C. Once soup is cooked, ladle into a bowl and place a crouton on top and sprinkle liberally with grated cheese. Place under a hot grill until the cheese start bubbling. Take care when eating not to burn yourself. Enjoy.