French Onion Soup
A true classic French soup, this is packed with onion flavour and is delicious for those occasions when soul food is needed to raise the spirits.
Serve French Onion soup with bread and a salad and it makes a meal all of its own!
The recipe also describes how to make the easy cheese topped bread, essential for a soup like this. Serve French Onion soup with bread and a salad and it makes a meal all of its own!
4 medium sized onions
2 tablespoons of margarine or butter
850ml / 3¾ cups / 1½ pints vegetable stock
120ml / ½ cup white wine (sherry will also do)
1 teaspoon dried or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 fresh garlic clove finely chopped
1 French Bread stick (normal bread will do fine)
1 tablespoon per topping gruyere or mozzarella cheese to top the bread. Most cheeses will do instead
¼ teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste (not much needed)
The ingredients in the French Onion soup recipe will make enough for four good portions. As far as the French Bread is concerned, you can substitute it with normal white or brown bread that has been toasted. We used garlic bread which went down just lovely!
The exact proportions of some ingredients are a matter of taste. Some people really like the flavour of Worcestershire sauce and I know my son would double or even triple the amount I use. Have a taste of the soup when it's nearly cooked and add a bit more of what excites your taste buds.
Start by peeling the four onions and chopping them into small bits.
This is the most laborious part of this recipe - it takes 10 minutes or so to chop up four onions and the tears will flow!
Just one note - chopping up 4 onions is a very 'crying' experience! I've no magic recipe to stop the tears, but the result is well worth it. Apparently chewing gum whilst chopping the onions does make some difference but I'm not guaranteeing it!
See the cooments section at the end of this recipe for many ideas on how to peel onions. For me personally, I avoid the problem altogether and chop them up using a food processor - guaranteed no tears!
Put the onions into a frying pan, add the butter, margarine or olive oil and turn up to a medium heat. If, after 15 minutes or so, the onions aren't beginning to turn to a golden brown, turn the heat up slightly. Don't cover with a lid.
Turn the onions every minute or so to ensure they are evenly cooked. Aim to cook the onions until they are a medium brown colour.
Browning the onions
Transfer the onions from the frying pan to a large pan and add all the ingredients except the cheese and bread.
Cook the soup on a medium heat for about 30 minutes. The aim is to get the onions so they are soft but not falling apart.
Cooking French Onion Soup
While the soup is cooking, put the soup bowls in the oven on a low heat to warm them..
Cut up the French bread into slices and put them under the grill to very lightly toast them (a bit less toasted than shown in the picture!).
When lightly toasted, place some cheese over each slice of bread.
Toasted French Bread
Just before the soup is ready to be served, put the cheese topped bread under the grill and cook until the cheese starts to bubble.
The bread is then meant to be put on the top of the soup and served. However, we weren't too keen on this so in the picture below the bread is served on a separate plate.
This looks like a snack-sized meal but in fact it's quite filling. With enough toast and a crisp green side salad, it's a meal all on its own.
French Onion Soup with Toast
|5 June 2013||From: Neil|
|If you peel them underwater in a half filled basin or sink there will be no tears. It takes a bit of getting used to but it works! Me, personally, I just bite the bullet but for those of you who can't stand it then this is for you.|
|17 April 2012||From: Christine|
|Lovely soup! Absolutely gorgeous, I'm gonna cook it again and try the recommendations for red onions too, thank you!|
|30 March 2012||From: SJP|
|Lovely soup but if you want a bit of kick : I added extra to the soup; teaspoon of dried chopped chillies, spoon Worcestershire sauce and right at the end (2min) fresh chopped dill.|
|17 October 2010||From: Sarah|
|Best cold remedy ever and very tasty.|
|25 October 2010||From: Cindy|
|Put a slice of bread in your mouth when slicing your onions so your don't cry.|
|25 October 2010||From: Sally|
|I peel onions near an open window - no tears! The soup is scrumptious esp when served with hot bread and cheese on top as described by Peter. I recommend DON'T BLEND - surely that's criminal :)|
|10 November 2010||From: Joanna|
|Fingers crossed I can do it - my brother and sisters and I are doing Come Dine With Me as a family - starting with my brother this week! Menu going in from me is going to include this soup - wish me luck.|
|12 November 2010||From: Nigel|
|Here's my tip for peeling and chopping onions. Wear swimming goggles. You don't look 'cool' and everyone may laugh but no tears guaranteed!|
|18 November 2010||From: Jonny H|
|Tip for chopping onions. wet the spoon end of a wooden spoon and hold it in your mouth at the handle end. Wet spoon absorbs all the onion fumes :)|
|22 November 2010||From: J Morgan|
|I added a pinch of dry mustard when I made this soup it is now a regular on the menu.|
|24 November 2010||From: Chris|
|Just tried something with this that we used to have when we lived in Tenerife. Grate some HARD cheeses onto the top of the soup when served into the bowls, place under HOT HOT grill or use cooks blow torch until thick golden cheesey crust forms break with bread and enjoy Hmmmmm|
|30 November 2010||From: Linda|
|21 December 2010||From: Leisa|
|I made this a few months ago my kids and hubby loved it.. I will just add more garlic and garlic bread instead of cheese... its a starter on my xmas menu...|
|24 December 2010||From: Lloyd|
|07 January 2011||From: Andy|
|Just finished this French onion soup, and it's lovely, great taste, very filling loved it ! ! !|
|24 January 2011||From: Lindi|
|5 February 2011||From: Suzanne D|
|This is the first time I have made French Onion Soup - it was delicious and easy - to carmelise the onions to a sticky golden brown it took about 50-60 mins but well worth the time as the taste was fantastic - I would recommend to anyone looking for an easy but extremely tasty soup - didn't use worcestershire sauce after reading recommendations - didn't need it beautiful.|
|20 November 2011||From: Joan Howell|
|Very tasty soup and easy to make.|
|25 November 2011||From: Annette|
|Real easy to make and taste lovely: My husband made it!! he's the cook in our home
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