Traditional French Onion Soup
Melt butter over moderate heat in large saucepan, add onions and sugar, stir well, and cover.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes, or until onions are weakened and light golden.
Uncovered and continue to cook for another 25 minutes, or until onions are brown and well caramelized
Add flour to pan, stir well to incorporate flour into onion mixture, and slowly stir in boiling stock, water, 3 tablespoons of cognac, salt, and pepper.
Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low, and simmer gently, partially covered, for 45 minutes, uncover and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Adjust seasoning and add the remaining tablespoon of cognac.
While the soup is simmering, in a preheated 400 degrees oven, toast the bread slices for 10 minutes.
Then turning them once after 5 minutes, the croutons should be well toasted on each side.
Divide the soup among 4 ovenproof soup bowls, each bowl should have 1 1/2 cups.
Arrange the croutons on top of soup (try to make an even layer of croutons that tops each bowl.
Sprinkle croutons generously with grated cheese, allowing some cheese to spill over onto the rim.
Put bowls on a cookie sheet and place under a preheated broiler until cheese melts and forms a crust over the tops of the bowls.
Alternatively, instead of grating all the cheese, you can cut some into wide shape, thin slices and drape the slices over the sides of the bowls.
This will help to prevent the cheese from slipping off the rims of the bowls.
Serve 4-6 people.
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