Friday, 30 January 2015


“Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.” - Carl Sandburg

It has been rather cool in Melbourne the last few days and while we can enjoy the sunshine, it is not so hot that it is uncomfortable. The nights are lovely and cool so a restful sleep is assured. With the cooler weather we took the opportunity to make French Onion Soup, which is an oldie but a goodie!

French Onion Soup
60g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1kg onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of ground mace
1 tsp dry mustard powder
2 tbsp plain flour
250ml dry white wine
1.3 L hot vegetable stock
4-8 slices French bread (depending on size)
140g Gruyère cheese, finely grated
Salt to taste.

Melt the butter with the oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the onions and fry with the lid on for 15 minutes until soft. Add the herbs and spices and cook for 15 minutes more, stirring frequently, until caramelised. The onions should be really golden, full of flavour and soft when pinched between your fingers.
Take care towards the end to ensure that they don’t burn. Add the garlic for the final few minutes of the onions’ cooking time, then sprinkle in the flour and stir well.
Increase the heat and keep stirring as you gradually add the wine, followed by the hot stock. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
To serve, turn on the grill, and toast the bread. Ladle the soup into heatproof bowls. Put a slice or two of toast on top of the bowls of soup, and pile on the cheese. Grill until melted. Alternatively, you can complete the toasts under the grill, then serve them on top. 

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