• 30g of butter
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 675g onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 120mls of red wine
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1.5 litres of hot beef stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 4 tbsp brandy
  • 8 croutes (cut a day old baguette into 8x1cm slices and toast until golden)
  • 1 clove of garlic, cut in half
  • 115g of Gruyere or Emmental cheese


Melt the butter with the oil in a large heavy pan over a low heat.

Add the onions and sugar and coat well.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover the onions with a pan-shaped piece of damp greaseproof paper.

Cook, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until they are a rich, dark brown colour, stirring to avoid sticking or burning.

Remove the paper and stir in the wine, increasing the heat to medium, for 5 minutes
Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 2 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Season again.

Preheat the grill to its highest setting.

Divide the soup into four flameproof bowls and stir 1tbsp of brandy into each bowl.

Rub the croutes with the cut garlic and place one in each bowl.

Sprinkle with the cheese and grill for 2 or 3 minutes until it’s bubbling and golden, serve.