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French Onion Soup Gratinee

ingredients

serves: 8
750 g (1 1/2 Ib) white onions
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon sugar
6 cups well-flavoured beef stock
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
salt and pepper to taste
8 rounds of French bread
2 cups freshly grated Gruyere cheese

method

1. Peel onions and slice thinly.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan, add onion rings and sugar and cook gently over a low heat until onion becomes soft and golden brown.

3. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent catching as there must be no hint of burning.

4. Add stock, wine or vermouth, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour.

5. Toast bread in moderate oven until crisp and lightly coloured.

6. Place toast in base of deep casserole or individual ovenproof bowls.

7. Sprinkle half the freshly grated cheese over toast.

8. Pour soup carefully into casserole or bowls so that the cheese covered toast floats gently to the surface.

9. Sprinkle remaining cheese over soup.

10. Place in a moderate oven 180-190°C (350-375°F) for 10 minutes or until cheese turns to a deep golden crust without burning.

11. Serve piping hot.

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