French Onion Soup

Written by on January 17, 2012 in Starters

french onion soup

A fabulously authentic, easy and traditional recipe for French onion soup or soupe a l’oignon gratinée as the French call it. This recipe was given to me by an old French lady who has been making it for her family for more than 70 years and they never tire of it – it’s so delicious!

Did you know that onions were – in ancient times – considered an aphrodisiac?  In France in the old days it was customary for newly weds to be served onion soup on the morning after their wedding night.


Enough for 4 very hungry or 6 hungry-ish people

Butter – 50g
Onions – 750g (any type will do but chop them finely)
Garlic – 1 large clove chopped (or more if you like it a lot!)
Plain flour – 40g
Beef or Chicken stock – 2 litres
White wine – 250ml
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
Stale baguette
Finely grated Gruyère cheese- 100g


1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onions, stir occasionally over a low heat for about 20 mins until they are a deep golden colour and starting to caramelize.
2. Add the garlic and flour to the onions and stir constantly for 2 minutes.
3. Gradually add the stock and wine stirring constantly and then bring to the boil.
4. Season and add the herbs, cover the saucepan and simmer for around 20 minutes.
5. Slice the stale baguette and toast them lightly – then break into small pieces about an inch or so across or you can leave the slices whole if you prefer.

Serve the soup into dishes, whack the bread on top, sprinkle with the grated cheese and grill until the cheese is bubbling and you can’t wait any longer to get stuck in!

Bon appétit!

PS if you want to freeze left over soup leave out the bread and cheese and it’ll last in the freezer for a couple of months.

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