Another French classic that children love in the winter. You need:
- 500 gr onion (sliced thinly)
- a table spoon of olive oil
- 50 gr of butter
- a pinch of thyme leaves (we used dry thyme)
- a bay leaf
- a glass of white wine
- two teaspoons of sugar
- a tablespoon of flour
- bread (sourdough or baguette): one slice per person
- grated cheese (around 250 gr)
-water (around 750 ml)
Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onions over medium to high heat for 5 to 7 minutes. You really should use a frying pan for this, as if you try to do this in a soup pan the onions will not fry properly ( they will produce moist and therefore they will 'boil' instead of fry)The trick is to get the onions golden-brown (keep watching the onions while they fry as it is really easy to burn them). Then add the sugar and flour and mix well. Add the white whine and wait for 2-3- minutes until it starts to evaporate. Transfer it all to a soup pan, cover with water, add the thyme, bay leaf and salt and let it all boil over low heat for 40 minutes.
Before serving the soup, toast the bread. Put the soup in the bowls, add the bread on top and then sprinkle generously with the grated cheese. Put the bowls under the grill and wait until the cheese gets golden (3-4 minutes, depending on the strength of your grill) Serve immediately.
It is a bit difficult to get the children to help much on this as slicing onions is no fun (supermarkets now sell sliced onions though). Also, be careful if they help you to put the bowls under the grill (in fact, put the bowls on a tray or you will burn yourself).