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This Parisian classic is given extra punch with a few spoonfuls of brandy.
1. Melt the butter with the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir in the onions and sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Press a round of wax paper over the surface. Cook for 40 minutes, uncovering and stirring occasionally, until the onions are a rich, dark brown. Watch carefully to avoid scorching.
2. Remove the wax paper and stir in the wine. Increase the heat to medium and boil, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the wine reduces to a glaze. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the brandy and season to taste.
3. Meanwhile, place the broiler rack 8in (20cm) from the heat, and preheat the broiler. Divide the soup among 4 flameproof bowls. Rub the garlic clove over the toast and place 1 slice in each bowl. Sprinkle with the cheese and broil for 2–3 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Serve at once.
Steps 1 and 2 can be completed up to a day ahead.
The soup, without the bread or cheese, can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.