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Thursday 18 November 2010

Souper Douper: French Onion Soup

French onion soup is often overlooked in favour of fancier varieties with sausages and beans and other tasty bits. And while I have nothing against recipes like that, there's something comforting about returning to a classic from time to time. Especially when that classic is totally delicious and costs mere pennies to make.

There are loads of french onion soup recipes floating about but this one by Nigel Slater is by far the simplest. Yes you could add brandy, sage or thyme, but Nigel's is just perfect the way it is. Know why? It has the divinely rich flavour that comes from slow-cooking onions in butter for nearly an hour. Just make sure the onions are cooked right and you can't possibly screw up the recipe.

Traditionally french onion soup is served with slices of cheesy toasted baguette, but I found that a pan of cheesy garlic bread (recipe coming up!) worked well too. I'd thoroughly recommend serving the two together for cosy bliss on a Saturday afternoon.

French onion soup recipe adapted from Nigel Slater's.

You will need (serves 4):
  • 700g white and red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 40g butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1.75-2 litres of hot beef stock
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
Make it!

1. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan and throw in the onions. Leave to cook on a low heat and stir every few minutes, just to make sure the onions aren't sticking to the pan. After about 45 minutes the onions should be sticky, caramelised and golden brown. They'll also smell fabulous.

2. Once the onions are nice and sticky, stir in the flour and cook for 3-4 minutes.

3. Pour in the hot beef stock and white wine, pop the lid on the pot and leave to simmer for at least 45 minutes.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with the cheesy bread of your choice.

Flickr image taken from rick's photostream


  1. This is my kind of soup! Forget the fancier kind. Keep it simple and yummy.

  2. I'm so going to try this, it looks divine (although my favourite part is ALWAYS the cheesy bread on the top!)

  3. Hope you ladies like it! Provided you keep an eye on the onions, it's a very simple recipe.

  4. I made this on friday night and it was lovely but I did look like a panda after chopping all the onions! Must remember to wear waterproof mascara next time x I finished off the bottle of wine after as well x

  5. Yeah I forgot to mention that part...

    Maybe I need to get my hands on some onion goggles:

  6. I think I'll have to invest in a couple of pairs as The Boy kept moaning about his eyes stinging as well-thanks xx

  7. I love onion soup. I'll have to give this recipe a try, but with veggie stock instead of beef.

    If you're trying to avoid onion tears, here are a few other options for keeping the weepies at bay!

  8. I've tried the chewing gum method! It worked up to a point...


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