This is my favourite onion soup recipe. It doesn’t contain any, let alone a whole bottle of, wine as many recipes do. As a result the deep flavour comes from the slow caramelisation of the onions and the stock.
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a meal
large knob of butter
4-6 large white onions, halved and very thinly sliced
1 tbsp plain flour
800ml of good beef stock (you can use fresh beef stock if you have it but I often use Knorr concentrated beef stock which comes in a little bottle)
salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped from the sprig (optional)
8 thick slices of baguette
2 handfuls grated Gruyère or Emmental cheese
- Melt the butter in a large pan on a gentle heat. Add the onions and stir to coat in the butter.
- Cook the onions slowly over a low heat until they become caramelised. You need to leave them to do this gently even though it can take quite a while. This is what develops the flavour of the soup.
- When the onions are caramelised stir in the flour. Keep stirring and cook out for a minute or so.
- Add some of the stock and stir well so that the flour combines well and doesn’t leave any lumps. Add the rest of the stock.
- Season with pepper, add the bay leaves and the thyme if using. Taste before adding salt – it might not need any.
- Simmer for 30 minutes or so.
- Grill the slices of baguette on both sides.
- Spoon the soup into bowls, place the baguette slices on top. Sprinkle with the cheese and put under the grill for a minute or so until the cheese melts. Serve and enjoy!