Traditionally, the soup, which was a staple in rural households, was little more than water poured over stale bread crusts, with an onion bulb added and the whole lot left to simmer for the day.
- 100 g butter
- 1.6 kg onions, sliced
- 2 small cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 egg yolks
- 75 ml crème fraîche
- ½ baguette
- 80 ml port
- 80 ml dry white wine
- 1 litre veal stock (or stock of choice)
- 80 g gruyère cheese, grated
- 4 tbsp chives, chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Wine pairing: Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay, Multi-Region
1. Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramel in colour. Discard the herbs.
2. Meanwhile, add the egg yolks to the crème fraîche and whisk until well combined. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
3. Preheat the oven grill to medium heat. Slice the baguette on an angle into twelve pieces and place on a baking tray. Set aside until needed.
4. Add the port and white wine to the onions to deglaze the pot. Cook the soup for two minutes or until slightly reduced, then stir in the veal stock and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, remove the pan from the heat.
5. Cook the sliced baguette under a medium grill for one minute or until lightly toasted. Sprinkle a spoonful of gruyère cheese over each slice and return to the grill to melt the cheese.
6. To serve, pour the egg yolk and crème fraîche into four bowls and ladle over the onion soup. Place three gruyère croutons on top of each soup and garnish with chives.
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