Soupe a l’oignon – French Onion Soup
In France this simple soup is traditionally eaten at about 3am, as reviver after everyone has been drinking, dancing and sweating for hours at a wedding or other big event! You can serve onion soup as a warming starter but it’s filling and nourishing enough to be an entire meal. Remember that it’s important to start with a great stock for the best flavour.
Serves 4 as a main
- 100 g unsalted butter, cubed
- 5 brown onions, roughly 750 g
- 30 g plain flour
- 1.5 litres chicken stock
- sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper
- chopped parsley
- French baguette or sourdough, sliced
- 100 g gruyere cheese, grated
Keep a close eye on the onions as they cook so they don’t catch and burn. If they are sticking too much you can remove the pan from the heat, cover and let stand 5 mins — the steam will loosen the onions so you can continue to cook them.
- Peel, half and thinly slice onions. Melt butter in a large, heavy-based pot over low heat.
- When butter starts to foam add onion and cook, stirring regularly, for 30 minutes or until deep golden. Sprinkle flour over the caramelised onions and stir for 2 minutes to cook the flour.
- Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- While soup is cooking preheat griller to high and toast the bread on one side. Turn bread over, top with cheese and toast again until cheese is melted and golden.
- Divide soup across bowls, sprinkle with parsley and top with gruyere croutons. Serve immediately.
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Recipe as seen in Manu’s French Kitchen. Photo credit Jennifer Jenner