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Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a 5-quart Dutch oven over moderately high heat, melt the butter. Add onions and sugar and saute over high heat until onions are lightly golden -- about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and saute 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add stock and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add brandy (optional), salt, and pepper and return to a boil over high heat.
Ladle soup into four 8-ounce oven-proof ramekins or soup bowls and place on a heavy-duty baking sheet or ovenproof metal tray. Top each portion with toasted French bread and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese.
Bake, uncovered, until grated cheese is melted -- about 5 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.
Kenny Kick: The nice thing about this recipe is that you can change the fruit filling to anything you like, thus making it different every time.
- 30 mL (2 tbsp) butter or margarine
- 1 medium-size yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 30 mL (2 tbsp) sugar
- 875 mL (3 1/2 cups) browned beef stock or canned reduced-sodium beef broth
- 1 1/4 L (5 cups) water
- 50 mL (1/4 cup) brandy (optional)
- 2 mL (1/2 tsp) salt
- 2 mL (1/2 tsp) black pepper
- 4 1/2-inch-thick slices French bread, toasted
- 60 mL (4 tbsp) grated Gruyere cheese