This soup was made for myself and a friend one Sunday afternoon when there was a surplus of onions left over in the veg box …
Ingredients to make enough to serve 2 hungry people:
- 2 large white onions, finely sliced
- 1 leek, cut into 3 inch pieces, then finely sliced length ways
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme leaves (you could use dried thyme instead – my thyme was a little past it’s best and practically dried anyway!)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons brandy (I used a 10 year old cider brandy that I found lingering at the back of my cupboard)
- 1 heaped teaspoon plain flour
- 1 litre of very good beef stock
- Salt and pepper to season (I found that the soup in this instance did not need any extra seasoning)
Now put the apron on and start by …
- Getting out a saucepan and adding the oil, onions, leeks, thyme, salt and sugar. Fry on a very gentle heat, stirring for a few minutes.
- Make a cartouche by cutting a round piece of grease proof paper, slightly larger than your saucepan. Run under the tap and scrunch into a ball. Unfold and use this to cover your onion mix in the pan. The paper should sit on top of the onion.
- Caramelise the onions very slowly on a low heat for 40 minutes, until very soft. Check every 10 minutes and if you think the pan is too dry, add in a tablespoon of the beef stock to add some liquid.
- After 40 minutes, increase the heat to a high heat and add the Brandy. Cook on a high heat for 1 minute to evaporate off some of the alcohol.
- Stir in the flour and cook on a medium heat for 1 minute.
- Increase the heat to full and add the beef stock and stir until the soup boils.
- Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.
- Check the seasoning, just in case!
- Serve with toasted french bread and melted Gruyere if you’re after a french style soup.
- This soup goes wonderfully with a cold crisp glass of Champagne.