There are many variations on this recipe out there, and I wonder why I haven’t written anything about it myself as yet. I have had this photo on file for ages! This is one of J’s favourite things to cook and eat, and I’ve grown to love it too. It’s easy to make and that bit of bread and cheese on top makes it so comforting. It will be piping hot by the time you serve it, but I think that’s one of the best things about it. There is a place for cold soup in the kitchen – not this time. I prefer using beef stock, because it gives more depth of flavour but you know me…I’m not that fussy. Onion soup may sound a little bit old-fashioned to you, but it’s time for a revival and it’s good to have a recipe like this in your notebook. There are slightly more complicated ones out there, but complicated and yours truly aren’t really a perfect match. I’m not claiming any autheticity here. This is simply my version, for 4.
- 600g white onions
- 60g butter
- 5 cups beef or vegetable stock
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup white wine
- sliced French bread or whatever crusty bread you might already have
- 250g sliced or grated Gruyère or Emmenthal cheese
Peel the onions and slice them very thinly. In a pan with a heavy base, slowly cook the onions in the butter over low heat, till they turn soft and golden. Stir only occasionally, just enough to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. This will take around 25 minutes. It is a long time in my books, but you need this time for the onions to caramelize well, without browning the butter.
Add whatever kind of stock you choose to the pan, together with the leek, dried thyme, garlic and pepper. Let the liquid simmer for another 25 minutes, covered. Then add the wine. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Pour the soup into individual overproof bowls. Cover each one with the bread and cheese, and give the lot a quick bake in the oven, until the cheese bubbles and melts. Serve immediately.