My first memory of eating a real French Onion Soup was as a 14 year old schoolgirl on my first trip to Paris. The soup was from a restaurant close to the Moulin Rouge and it was a big, steaming bowl of delicious brown soup with bread and cheese in it.
Ever since that first experience French Onion Soup has remained one of my favourite soups, and the thing is it is so very easy and cheap to make and thoroughly delicious.
My recipe is just the way I have adapted it over the years since first tasting that delicious oniony, garlic soup encrusted with cheese covered baguette and I think that it actually very authentic and just like you would get sitting outside a little café in Paris – just without the atmosphere! This soup with the bread and cheese makes a really delicious lunch dish.
I make no excuse for the use of butter in this recipe, although I always try to keep fat content down in my cooking, the butter in this recipe really adds the flavour that you need.
You will need good ovenproof tureens or bowls to cook and serve this delicious soup.
Do try my adaption of the French classic, I’m sure that you will love it – I know that I do!
FRENCH ONION SOUP
3 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 bay leaves
Sprig of fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped
2 large glasses dry white wine (preferably French)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
400ml good beef stock
25g plain flour
150g grated cheese (preferably Gruyere)
Freshly chopped parsley to serve.
1. Melt the butter in the olive oil in a large saucepan.
2. Add the crushed garlic, onions, salt and pepper, bay leaves and thyme leaves stirring gently. Reduce the heat, cover and allow to slow cook for about 30 minutes, stirring every five minutes, until the onions are soft but not brown.
3. Remove the lid from the pan and continue to cook uncovered for a further 20 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions are golden brown and caramelized.
4. Stir in the plain flour to make a roux, mix well and cook over a low heat for a further 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the wine and stock, stirring well.
6. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves.
7. Meanwhile cut the baguettes into 1in slices and toast on one side.
8. Preheat the oven to 180C/35OF/Gas 4.
9. Rub the toasted baguette slices with the halved garlic clove.
10. Ladle the soup into four individual soup bowls or tureens. Do not overfill as you will need to leave space for the bread.
11. Place two of the baguette slices into each bowl of soup and liberally sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
12. Carefully place the bowls on a baking tray into the oven at for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown.
13. Serve immediately sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley.
French onion soup that any Parisian would be proud of – Bon Appetite!