Subtle, smoky-flavoured Soupe a l'Oignon is associated with the re'veillon on Christinas Eve, and is a traditional winter favourite.
50 g butter
750 g onions, finely sliced (using a mandolin
cutter is the easiest way)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed, peeled and chopped
25 g flour
1.5 litres beef or vegetable stock
200 ml white wine
1 bay leaf
a sprig of thyme
freshly ground black pepper
a bunch of curly parsley, finely chopped
1/2 baguette, cut into 1 cm slices
100 g Gruyere cheese, finely grated
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onions and cook on a low heat for 50 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should turn a golden brown, be very soft and begin to caramelize, which gives this soup its rich golden colour and deep flavour.
2. Add the garlic along with the flour and mix well to allow the flour to absorb the excess butter, making a roux. Slowly pour in the stock and wine, stirring frequently, then bring to a gentle simmer. Add the bay leaf, thyme leaves (strip them from the sprig), salt and pepper, cover with a lid and leave for 40 minutes on a low heat.
3. Five minutes before serving, add the parsley to the soup and stir well. Toast the slices of baguette and top with the grated Gruyere. Then grill the toast until the cheese is melted.
4. Serve the soup in bowls topped with the cheesy toasts.
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