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    French onion soup with cheesy croutons

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    French onion soup with cheesy croutons

    This traditional winter warmer needs some time to slowly caramelise the onions but the results are worth waiting for, turning everyday ingredients into a masterpiece. 

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 3 hours
    • Total time: 3 hours 20 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    80g unsalted butter
    4 large onions, thinly sliced
    1 tbsp plain flour
    handful thyme sprigs, leaves only
    1 tbsp sherry vinegar
    330ml bottle Breton cider (such as Galipette)
    500ml fresh beef stock
    200ml demi-glace meat stock *
    handful chives, finely chopped

    CHEESY CROUTONS
    8 slices baguette, sliced diagonally
    1 garlic clove, halved
    25g unsalted butter, melted
    100g gruyère cheese, grated 

    (*Available in selected stores)

    Method

    1. Melt 80g butter in a large, heavy-based pan over a low heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, for 1½-2 hours, until a deep, golden brown.

    2. When caramelised, stir in the flour and thyme leaves; cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring, then add the vinegar and about ¹⁄ ³ of the cider, stirring. Whisk in the rest of the cider and the stocks, then bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour.

    3. Meanwhile, to make the croutons, preheat the grill to high. Rub both sides of the baguette slices with the garlic, then brush one side with the melted butter and grill on that side. Turn over, then scatter the other side with the grated cheese and grill until melted and golden. Season the soup, if needed, then divide between 4 bowls. Place 2 toasts on the top of each bowl, scatter over the chives and serve straight away. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, November 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue

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