Served in individual bowls topped with melted cheese, this soup is a French classic.
30 ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
50 g (2 oz) butter
1 kg (2 lb) onions, coarsely chopped
15 g (2 tbsp) flour
1.9 litre (3 1/4 pt) stock or water
2.5 g (1/2 tsp) salt
12 slices Swiss cheese
16 thin slices cut from a French loaf
10 ml (2 tsp) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1. Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a large deep saucepan.
2. Add the onions and saute over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a further 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Sprinkle the onions with the flour and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
5. Add the vegetable stock and salt. Simmer, covered, for 35 minutes over a low heat.
6. While the soup simmers, coarsely chop 4 of the cheese slices. Preheat oven to 165°C (325°F) Gas 3.
7. Brush the bread slices with the olive oil and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
8. Sprinkle the bread with the garlic and the chopped cheese. Bake for 15 minutes and set aside.
9. When the soup is done, place 2 bread slices in each of 8 individual deep soup bowls.
10. Fill each bowl with soup and top with a slice of cheese.
11. Place the bowls on the centre rack of the oven and raise the heat to 175°C ( 350°F) Gas 4.
12. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese begins to soften and turn brown.
13. Remove the bowls from the oven, allow to cool for 1 minute and serve.
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