Recipe For French Onion Soup

OK, so I guess I need to change the text in the Welcome! section on the right to say that I blog every weekday apart from when I'm on jury duty and am too lazy exhausted from carrying out my civic responsibilities. My bad. I'm done with jury duty now, however, so normal posting will resume :-)

Here's a little something for the weekend - a recipe for French onion soup. I have assiduously experimented with numerous recipes over the years in search of that authentic Parisian bistro taste, and this recipe from Jamie's Dinners comes pretty close.

So, here's what you need:

1.1kg onions, fresh thyme, 3 cloves garlic, 1 bay leaf, 1.3 litres chicken stock, olive oil and butter, bread, gruyère cheese.

Chop the onions, and fry them very gently in butter and a drizzle of olive oil for 15 mins over low heat in a covered pan, along with the bay leaf and the thyme. You'll need to strip all the leaves off the thyme and use these rather than the stalks, which are not tasty. Stir the onions occasionally to make sure they don't stick:

Next up, remove the lid, turn up the heat, and cook for 5 mins or so until golden brown:

Add the chicken stock (I use organic Kallo stock cubes), turn the heat down, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Now, if you want to serve the soup in the most traditional French manner, what you need  to do is toast some bread, put the soup in a bowl, place the toasted bread on top of the soup, cover the entire surface of the bowl in grated cheese, and then place under the grill for 5 mins until golden and bubbling.

The problem with this is that firstly you'll need a soup bowl that can stand up to the heat from the grill without damage - and secondly that because the bowl will become incredibly hot, it's no use for an 'eating-from-your-knees-in-front-of-the-television' situation. Cos you'll end up with burned paws. And knees. Not so good.

So, I compromised by grilling the cheese-on-toast part on a baking tray, and then floating it on the surface of the soup. I also used manchego (cos we didn't have any gruyère), and it worked just fine:

Yum. It's so good. And so easy to make. Très bien.

Happy weekend!

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