French Onion Soup

A French onion soup is wonderfully aromatic and with a great depth of taste, this soup is a delight on a cold evening. Loads of onions in the soup, served with a loaf of warm toasted garlic bread, would readily make it a meal by itself. It is probably the only French recipe I cook regularly :P

4 large onions- thinly sliced
6 large pods of garlic- peeled and chopped very fine
1 tsp Butter
½ tsp sugar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
Salt to taste
1 tsp pepper powder
Vegetable / chicken stock ( optional)

Thickly sliced crusty bread
Grated cheese ( preferably mozzarella) to garnish if desired

Place a large pot on heat. Place the butter  in a large pot. 

Add the garlic and sliced onions with a bit of sugar. Sugar helps caramelize the onions, ie browns them as they are cooking. Keep the flame on low and let the onions become dark brown, taking care to stir them around occasionally to prevent burning.
Once onions turn dark brown, which will take around 20 min on a low flame, add 6 cups of water or stock. Vegetable / chicken stock gives a further depth of flavour and a slow cooked taste to the soup. However, water is a convenient alternative, without much compromise in taste.
Let the soup come to a boil. Add the dark soy sauce and salt to taste. Allow it to boil for another 5 minutes.
Serve the soup piping hot in bowls, garnished with pepper and grated cheese.

Typically the soup is served topped with a thick slice of crusty bread, covered with cheese and placed under the broiler until the cheese is all oozy and melty.If you don't have a broiler, you can serve the soup in a boil with warm buttered toast on the side.

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