French onion soup.

This is the soup that you will have and love. It is simple but it is not a fast thing to do it you want to do it properly. In fact, it will take about a good hour to do it you really want to make a good job of it. The reason for that is the amount of time it takes to cook the onions down.

Ingredients to make the soup.
Butter about 50g or 2oz
450g or 1ld of sliced onions
1 clove of crushed garlic
1 litre to 2 pints of drown chicken stock. If you have it. If you do not have, the stocks then use a stock cube and water.
About a teaspoon of plain flour.
Salt and pepper.
Thyme and a bay leaf (optional)
Ingredients to finish the garnish.
A slice of French bread, a stale one if you have it.
Strong grated cheese, preferably Gruyere.
Smooth Dijon mustard

First, you must slice your onions as thin as you can. The reason for this to help them cook in a more even way and to release the flavour into the soup. The thing that you will be looking for is all of your onions to be cooked and going dark brown. You will have by the time you have finished a quarter to one-third the amount of onions in the pan that you started with.

Get your butter and melt that in the pan then add the onions. This will take a long time if you want the best result. The onions want to become so soft that it looks like if you touch them they will disintegrate to a pulp. All that cooking will result in a full of flavour soup. Once you think you are almost there adding the garlic. Do not put it in to early or a lot of the flavour of the garlic will be cooked out and it will get lost in the over all flavour of the onions. Now it is at this point as well I like to add a sprig of thyme and a bay leaf as well. Purist will say that it has no place in a French onion soup and they are probably right but I like it. The two herds give it a delicate back note that is just a little bit more special.

Once you have all this ready then add a little flour. Be careful not to just drop a spoon full in and how to stir it in as you might end up with a lump of flour in the soup. Try to sprinkle it in and little at a time to cook it as well. You do not want to have lumps of raw flour floating in your soup so take a bit of care at this stage. Once you have done that add the liquid a little at a time to start with. Make sure that any sugars that are on the side of the pan are coming of into the liquid. This will give more taste to the soup in the long run. A thing you could do if you want is take all the onions out of the pan and place them in a bowel. Then turn the heat up on the pan to get it hot and add a little of the liquid. This will deglaze the pan easier and faster. Remove from the fearsome heat, replace the onions and then the rest of the liquid, and cook for a little longer. Before you have finished take out whatever sticks you may have from the thyme and the bays leaf before you serve the soup. Once everything is cooked then you have to think of the garnish.

Take a French loaf and cut it diagonally across the middle. This is a better-looking shape than if you just cut a slice through the middle of it. Then take your strong cheese. Once more, you should use something like Gruyere cheese; personally, I like to use a good strong Cheddar cheese. Mix the cheese with smooth mustard and then spread it on top of the bread. Give it a good coating as this is going to melt in to the top of the soup.

Place your bread in a soup bowl and pore some soup over it the bread will float to the top. Just try to make sure that it is cheese side up. Then place under a grill until everything is melted and brown on top.


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