Sweet slow-cooked leeks, shallots and standard cooking onions are laced with a splash of cognac in this cheesy adaptation of French onion soup. Topped with a slice of bread and a generous melting Gruyère, few can resist this hearty cold weather soup.

The key to any soup lies in its very foundation: the stock. You can use store bought, of course, but you’ll have a more flavourful and memorable soup with homemade stock. More often than not, I made this soup with roasted
chicken stock (rather than beef stock).

Leek & Onion Soup

Makes 4 Servings


■ 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
■ 2 Tbsp olive oil
■ 2 cups sliced leeks, white part only
■ 4 cups assorted sliced onions—shallots, white and/or red onions
■ Pinch of dried thyme or a sprig of fresh
■ 1/2 tsp kosher salt
■ 2 Tbsp cognac or dry sherry
■ 6 cups beef or roasted chicken stock, ideally homemade
■ 4 slices French bread, toasted if fresh
■ 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese

Cooking Instructions

Melt the butter and oil in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the leeks, onions and thyme and stir to coat. (It may appear as if you have too many onions but they reduce significantly).

Cook, stirring occasionally until the leeks and onions start to brown, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat and continue to cook, covered, stirring often, until the onions are a rich brown colour, about 40 minutes.

Stir in the cognac (or sherry) and increase the heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until all the alcohol has evaporated.

Stir in the stock and summer for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into oven-proof bowls. Top each with a slice of French bread and a generous heap of Gruyere cheese. Broil or bake at 450 °F until the cheese has melted.

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