Back after a glorious honeymoon in Vietnam (oh, I got married by the way) and straight into Christmas. What could be better? Yesterday morning was spent like the smuggest of newlyweds mooching around Columbia Road Flower Market, getting a Christmas tree and endeavouring to find presents. And then home for this, an undoubtedly heretical British take on French onion soup, using muffins instead of baguette, and stitchelton instead of gruyere. Not bad at all.
3 onions, peeled and finely sliced
A sprig of thyme
A dessertspoon of plain flour
800ml beef stock
2 muffins (I used recipe from my book, available in all fine bookstores)
Half a clove of garlic
80g stichelton or stilton cheese
Salt and pepper
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, and add the onions and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium-low heat, stirring regularly, for 60-90 minutes until soft and caramelised.
- Stir in the flour, then the brandy, and simmer over a medium heat for a minute or two, then add the stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3o minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high. Halve and lightly toast the muffins, rub with garlic, then top with the cheese.
- Decant the soup into sturdy bowls and sit the muffins in them. Pop under the grill for 3 minutes. Eat.