There is nothing like an authentic onion soup to warm you up. Few things, I learnt along the way, watching the older generation preparing this French classic:
a) Use as many onions as you can peel- I am fortunate to have this condition where by chopping onions don't make me cry. However even if you have to chop them in batches it is really worth using lots. Brown onions is what you want.
b) The secret resides in load of pepper
c) Seat the cheese on the top of the sliced baguette and brown it under the grill.
No onion soup should be without its "croutons gratinés"
Classic Onion Soup
1kg brown onions, thinly sliced
2 pints or just over a liter of beef stock
for the croutons
1 garlic clove sliced
Heat the butter in a large pan and gently cook the onion until the onion is softened but not browned. Increase the heat slightly and cook for 15 minutes stir for the last five minutes.
By now the onions should be brown and caramelised do not stop stirring, stirring now and again to stop it catching.
Add the stock and bring to the boil. Season generously. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the bread, rub each slice with garlic, then drizzle with a little oil. Sprinkle with the cheese and grill until golden and bubbling. Serve the soup with the cheese croutons on top.