Saturday, 25 August 2012

Traditional French Onion Soup Recipe

French onion soup always reminds me of my favourite little french bistro in Oxford.  Many Sunday afternoons I have headed over to Oxford, ordered the soup along with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and sat at a table next to the window so that I could gaze outside and watch the world go past...

I have made the soup at home many times over the years using different recipes and with a bit of tweeking here and there have come up with my own recipe that really does have that traditional depth of flavour.


Serves 4

50g butter
4 large onions
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp thyme leaves
120ml sherry
Beef stock (fresh, cubed or concentrate) made up to 1.2 litres
Salt & Pepper
(1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or 1 tsp marmite optional)
1 baguette, sliced
2 garlic cloves halved
Olive Oil
100g Gruyère, grated
(if you cannot get Gruyère, then Parmesan will do fine)

(if you want to see a US to UK conversion list for measurements and culinary terms, please visit my US/UK coversion page)

Chop the onion in half (long ways) and then thinly slice the onion into half rings

In a medium- sized, heavy flame-proof pan, melt the butter over a moderate heat.  When the the butter has fully melted, reduce the heat to low and add the sliced onions along with the thyme leaves and finely chopped garlic clove. 

Cook the onions until they soften and eventually turn almost to the consistency of a chutney (approximately 25-30 minutes).  It is important to keep an eye on the onions and stir frequently so that they don't brown too much on the bottom (this is a perfect time to enjoy a nice glass of wine whilst cooking!).  It is important not to burn the onions as this will give a bitter aftertaste to the soup.  If necessary, turn the heat down a little.  This stage is the most important, as this is where the delicious rich flavour, colour and texture will come from.

Once the onions are cooked, add in the sherry and cook out the alcohol for about 3-4 minutes.  Then pour in the stock and season with salt and pepper.  (As an optional extra, at this point if you like a very deep and rich flavour, you could add 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce or 1 tsp of marmite).  Once the stock and the seasonings have been added, stir with a wooden spoon, making sure that you scrape the base of the pan to ensure that any residue from the caramelised onions is incorporated into the stock, as this residue is full of nutty flavour.  Bring the stock to a rolling boil and then reduce the heat again to low, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high.  Rub each side of the baguette slices liberally with the garlic gloves and place under the grill until lightly toasted on one side (disgarding the garlic).  Drizzle the untoasted side with olive oil and spirnkle with the Gruyère or Parmesan.  Then place inder the grill until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.

Ladle the soup into a bowl and place one or two croutons into the soup.

Now the only thing left is to sit back and enjoy the most delicious onion soup (and why not go the whole way and pour yourself a large glass of red or white wine to accompany it).


Graham x

Please be welcome to leave any comments below:


Michelle said...

Looks yummmmy! I would try to fix it if my family would eat it. Ahhh I might try it anyway lol

Unknown said...

Michelle, it is one of my favs :o) Be sure to let me know what you think of it when you try it :o)

Nina Fenner said...

Hi Graham, just bought a huge bag of onions, time to try this recipe, sounds delicious ..

Unknown said...

Excellent!!!!! Have fun! Let me know what you think afterwards :)

Graham's Photobook....Through The Eyes Of A Dreamer

Please click on the link below to view or purchase my new book.