Originally from Lyons, onion soup was made popular during the 19th Century by Parisian market workers in Les Halles. Traditionally served after a nuit blanche (sleepless night) because of its supposed ability to quickly dissipate the effects of alcohol, it is an invigorating and revitalising soup.
- 150g butter
- 4 medium-large onions (sliced)
- 1 garlic clove (crushed)
- 100ml red wine
- 150ml beef stock
- Sprig of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 baguette
- 150g grated Gruyère cheese
- Heat the butter in a large, deep, heavy-based saucepan. Gently fry the onion and garlic for about 15 minutes. They must be soft, brown and lightly caramelised. Be careful not to let them fry crisp.
- Add the wine, stock, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for around 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Preheat the grill. Cut the baguette into 2cm slices and toast it on both sides. Pour the soup into ovenproof bowls, place 1 or 2 pieces of baguette on top and sprinkle generously with the grated Gruyère.
- Put the bowls under the hot grill. When the cheese is golden and bubbling, remove from the oven and serve immediately.