Today for me really was the first day of autumn, so with some onions I had left over from making chutney I decided to indulge myself and make a french onion soup for lunch. I had forgotten how delicious, cheap and easy this recipe is and it really should be made more often. The most expensive ingredient is the brandy but I tend to buy one bottle that lasts me a year and is used for everything from champagne cocktails to chicken liver pate.
3 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp butter
800ml beef stock
1 tsp Marmite (ok i'm cheating here but if you use proper beef stock you wont need the Marmite..)
1 shot brandy
1 glass red wine
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and black pepper to taste.
Sweat the onions and garlic in the butter slowly until they have turned a rich brown (about 20mins, this part is important as the onions will help colour and add a rich flavour to your soup). Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 -15 minutes.
Make large cheese croutons with some good bread and Gruyere cheese. Float on top of the soup and serve with a glass of wine ( a good excuse to use a good cooking wine!)