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French Onion Soup with Comté Croutons

Ingredients to serve six

150g butter
6 large brown onions - thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1-2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1/2 TB of plain flour
120 ml white wine
2 litres of chicken, beef or vegetable stock
1 bouquet garni **
Splash of balsamic vinegar
350g Comté grated
1 Baguette-cut into slices

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, heat until butter starts to brown slightly, add the onions and cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion are soft. Turn the heat down to very low, add the garlic and salt and pepper and cook for a further 30 minutes until onions are super caramelised, nice and brown.

Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, increase the heat to medium and add the wine, stirring quickly to get all the good stuff from the bottom of the pot and to avoid lumps.

Add the stock to the pot and bring to boil then turn down to simmer, add bouquet garni and let simmer for 20 mins, when finished - remove the bouquet garni and add a splash of balsamic vinegar to taste, you need a little acid here to cut through the richness.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius, turn on the overhead grill.

Toast your slices of baguette then remove from grill, top with some grated Comté and set aside.

Turn oven back to a regular setting.

Take six ovenproof serving dishes and ladle your super-hot soup into them, leaving some room from the top to add generous amounts of grated Comte, place the individual containers on a tray and gently place into the oven, bake until the cheese topping is browned and bubbling, gently remove from oven & keep warm.

Turn the oven back to the grill, keep soup warm whilst you grill your croutons, again until cheese is bubbling.

Place croutons on top of the soup and carefully enjoy.