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Given the opportunity, I think my husband might request this soup as his last meal. (Or second to last - nothing compares to a really good steak.) The recipe is really easy, but there is a lot of babysitting involved, so this soup is a good bet when you will be in the kitchen for while anyway. Serve in individual soup crocks topped with toasted french bread and cheese slightly browned and bubbling from the broiler for the full onion soup experience!
- Melt butter over medium/low heat in a large stockpot, then add the sliced onions.
- Saute over medium to low heat, stirring frequently, until all the liquid is gone and onions are golden brown and resemble a thick paste in the bottom of the pot. (Warning: the caramelization process can take a long time - 2 hours or more - and as the liquid evaporates and the sugar in the onions becomes more concentrated, you will have to stir the onions more and more frequently to keep them from burning. I find it helpful to set a digital kitchen timer between stirrings so I don't forget and burn the whole batch!).
- Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Add the water and bouillon, stir and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
- Add brandy, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. You can always adjust the strength of the soup by reducing it or adding another bouillon cube or two.
- Serve immediately or allow to cool and freeze for up to 6 months.