I made this last night and it’s one of the most warming comforting things you can eat on a cold day…it takes a long time though!!! Many recipes (like Delia’s) will tell you that caramelising onions takes 15-20 minutes…. this is bollocks. The slower you do it the better and forty five minutes to an hour is more realistic. The whole thing is a good two hours at least and is a labour of love.
Melt 2oz of butter in a pan (preferably one you can stick under the grill later) and add a slosh of oil
1.5 lb onions finely sliced (any sort…any onion will caramelise with patience) and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic
I crush them in a pestle and mortar using a little bit of sugar for traction and that gives the onions an extra boost in the caramelisation stakes
2 pints of beef stock (or two pints of hot water and three stock cubes in the real world)
10 fluid oz of white wine
Fry the onions on a slowish heat stirring very occassionally or a slightly higher heat if you are hanging over them watching. The idea is that they brown but don’t stick…. this can take a long time.
You end up with a lovely brown sloppy mush of onions.
Once you’ve hit this stage (or extreme boredom) slosh in the stock and wine….get it to slow simmer…put a lid on and leave it alone for an hour.
Meanwhile…at some point grate some Gruyere or some other sort of flavoursome cheese that melts into stringy goodness…about 4oz and make some giant croutons out of a french stick
Giant Croutons are easy….cut some slices of french stick, roll them about in another clove or two of crushed garlic and olive oil and stick in the oven on medium heat for twenty…twenty five minutes until crisp and golden brown. (it’s basically brushetta bases)
Season your soup.
Float bread in it…liberally dump your cheese all over it and stick under a hot grill until its browning and bubbling like mad….
get it out and serve it up.