French Onion Soup

11:45 pm on 24 November 2007


  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 8 cups thinly sliced onions (large white ones best)
  • French bread
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 litres beef stock
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup brandy
  • Gruyere cheese, grated*
  • olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese, grated*


Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the onions, stirring constantly. Cook until they are soft and brown.

In the meantime, cut slices of French bread into pieces (about 1-2cm thick) and toast in the oven until they are dry crusts (approx 15 minutes).

When the onions are soft, sprinkle them with flour, add 2 cups of beef stock and stir until the mixture thickens. Add the remaining stock. Stir in salt, pepper and brandy. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and cover each with a thick handful of Gruyere. Top with a piece of the toasted bread drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkle the Parmesan over the top. Put the bowls in the oven and grill the cheese. Serves 8-12.

*Use quality cheese: broiled, baked or hand-torched to a bubbly golden brown, and dribbling over the edge of the bowl.

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