French Onion Soup

  • 6 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 3 ounces of butter
  • 1 tbsp of all purpose flour (Maida)
  • 6 cups water or vegetable stock
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 slices to 6 slices French bread -- toasted
  • Slice of cheese

bouquet of spices:

  • 3 bay leaves
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 10 to 12 leaves of parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
  • 2 cloves or 3 garlic (whole)
For the Garnish:
  • Sliced scallions or minced parsely


Make a bouquet of spices by placing bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley, thyme, and garlic in the center of a 12" square of cheesecloth, and tying the cloth's ends together. Set aside. In a heavy pot, saute onions in oil over medium-low heat. Add salt to prevent sticking, and stir frequently. Cover pot with a lid, but leave it slightly ajar. Onions should saute for 30 minutes to 1 hour.They will reduce to about a third of their original volume and become sweet and golden. Then add flour and fry till the raw smell of flour is gone. Add water or stock, soy sauce, along with the bouquet garni. Simmer at least 30 minutes. Remove bouquet of spices. Season soup with extra salt,pepper, soy sauce, if desired. Place in bowls and top with French bread. Lay slices of cheese to cover the entire opening of the bowl. Bake at 350 degrees F or 5 minutes under a hot broiler. Garnish with sliced scallions or minced parsely. Serve hot.

Notes: The secret to onion soup is letting the onions caramelize slowly. If this step is rushed, not only could the onions burn, but your soup will lack depth of flavor. Once the soup is finished, divide into 4 soup bowls and top with French bread cubes then cheese. Broil just until cheese has melted and browns slightly. Make sure to put the bread cubes in first (and not omit it if using cheese) because the cheese will sink to the bottom of the bowl.

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