cheesy Onion soup
1.5g unsalted butter
6 large onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tnsp mushroom ketchup or sherry vinegar
1 litre beef or chicken stock
100ml brandy - more if you're in the mood
For the croutons:
Handful of day-old bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp mild olive oil
80g Gubbeen cheese, sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6.
2. Set your pan over a low heat. Heat the butter until it starts to bubble, add the onions and the salt, cover with the lid and gently steam. Remove the lid when the onions are tender and increase the heat gradually to medium, stirring until the onions turn a pleasing brown colour.
3. Add the Mushroom Ketchup (or sherry vinegar), pour in the stock a little at a time and work any caramelised bits from the base of the pan into the soup.
4. To make the croutons, toss the bread in the olive oil to coat very lightly and bake in the oven on a tray lined with parchment paper until golden. Place the cheese on top of the croutons for a minute or two until just melted.
5. Stir the brandy into the soup and check the seasoning. Scoop the cheesy croutons on top of the soup, and serve in the pot from the middle of the table.