Simple supper: French onion soup with goat’s cheese croutons

Serves 4

700g onions
50g butter
Olive oil
Muscovado light brown sugar
A couple of cloves of garlic
Plain flour
1.5 litres beef stock
1 glass of white wine
Goat’s cheese log

Cooks note: Waitrose does a very good version of the soup if you’re short of time.

Peel and thinly slice the onions. Sweat in some butter and a little olive oil and a teaspoon of sugar over a low heat. Stir regularly, watching them go soft, sticky and golden in colour. After about 30 minutes add a sprinkling of flour. Cook off the flour (3-4 minutes) while bringing the beef stock to the boil. Add the stock and the white wine to the onions and leave to simmer-lid on pan-for around 45 minutes.

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While the soup is simmering, pre-heat the oven to 200ºc, slice the baguette into rounds and place them on a baking tray. Drizzle lightly with olive oil (and rub with the garlic clove if you like) and put into the oven for 5 minutes-watching to check they don’t burn. You want them to crisp up a little but hardly change colour. Remove from the oven and top each round of bread with a teaspoon of goat’s cheese. Replace in the oven and cook for a few minutes until the bread and the edges of the cheese begin to brown. You can also use Emmenthal, Gruyere or Parmesan.

Divide the soup into bowls and just before serving place three ‘rounds’ into each bowl. Place any remaining croutons onto a plate in the middle of the table.