This French onion soup recipe – “soupe à l’oignon” – is simple to prepare, and, although it was formerly considered a poor-man’s dish, is truly a delicacy today
As you won’t need many ingredients when preparing this classic bistro dish, you shouldn’t skimp on quality. Use aromatic yellow household onions, and for a gratinée crust, Gruyere or Parmesan cheese are just right.
While you should use freshly prepared stock whenever possible, the use of day-old white bread is perfectly fine.
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You can easily prepare single portions using a crème brûlée torch, or you can broil a number of soup bowls in the oven until the cheese melts and turns golden brown.
Here's how to do it:
Ingredients (serves six):
7 Tbsp (100g) butter
2.2 pounds (1 kg) yellow onions
5¼ cups (1.25 l) veal stock
Salt, ground pepper
1 medium baguette
6 ounces (175 g) Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
Melt 2/3 of the butter in a large pan and add the thinly sliced onions. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes until the onions are golden brown. Pour in the stock, sprinkle with salt and pepper and simmer for 10-15 minutes longer and season to taste.
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Slice the baguette into approximately 1cm (1/4 inch) slices and toast for 10-15 minutes until light brown.
Grate the cheese and melt in a double boiler along with the remaining butter. Place two or three slices of bead in the pre-warmed, ovenproof soup bowls and pour the hot soup over them. Spread generously with cheese, drizzle with melted butter and put under the broiler until golden brown. Serve hot.