Around the world in eighty recipes – Simple French Vegetarian supper

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French onion soup is comfort food at its best. For me it brings back memories of cold wintry Sunday afternoons. Finely slice 15 medium brown onions. Put a knob of butter and drizzle of olive oil into a soup pan. Gently cook the onions until they have started to really go a caramel brown. When they have reduced, add two teaspoons of sugar and cook. This whole process takes a good solid thirty minutes. When the sugar and onions have really started to caramelise, add 1.5 litres of really good quality vegetable or beef stock and 300 mls of dry sherry. Cover and simmer for another thirty minutes or so. This can be eaten straight away, but it is best to let it rest for several hours while the sweet oniony flavour develops.

It is pretty much essential to top a steaming bowl of soup with cheese croutons. I toasted a slice of fresh white french boule bread topped that with grated cheese and let this bubble under the grill.

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We then had omelette with fine herbs….. chives and thyme.

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This was followed by vanilla, raspberry and chocolate macaroons, and for H-G his homemade crab-apple vodka.

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