French onion soup
"This recipe has been handed down (with lots of "individual interpretation" along the way) from our ancestors who arrived in Akaroa in 1840. We loved Mum's soup & asked her for her recipe. She, of course, didn't have one so we watched & wrote it down and now have our own yummy version to share."
- 4 med-lrg onions - sliced thickish
- 4 med-lrg onions - chopped finely
- 3-4 cloves garlic - crushed
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (¼ tsp if using dried)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 50 grams butter
- 1.5 tablespoons plain flour
- ½ cup red wine (white will also do)
- 2 cups good quality beef stock
- 1 tablespoon “Braggs” liquid seasoning (low salt soy will do if you can’t get this)
- 2 teaspoons low salt/No MSG powdered beef stock
- 1 tablespoon wine vinegar (this is optional)
- 750ml water
- 1 tablespoon concentrated tomato paste
- Pepper & maybe salt (depends on your stock)
- French stick cut on diagonal into 1”/2.5cm rounds, 2-3 per person
- Gruyere or Gouda for topping
- Put olive oil/butter into frying pan (butter for the taste, olive oil to help it not to burn). Add sliced onions. Use high setting for a very short time, just to get things started, then turn to a low simmer. Simmer for ½ - ¾ hour, gently stirring often. Onions should be clear and just starting to colour (but not browned).
- Add chopped onions, simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add crushed garlic & thyme, simmer for another 5 minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic).
- Add brown sugar and stir gently until it's mixed in. Sprinkle the flour evenly over whole pan, stir in gently until mixed in thoroughly.
- Add a slosh of the liquid mixture - just enough to make sure you get all the yummies from the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a large saucepan.
- Add rest of Liquid Mixture, stir a little to combine.
- Add water & tomato paste, stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the wine taste has gone.
- Top with cheese & grill.
- Vary the thickness to your liking by adjusting the flour to liquid ratio.
- Double the recipe and freeze some in zip seal bags (air squished out).