I always thought French onion soup was rather complicated but having tried it myself, I realise it is terribly easy, just slightly time-consuming and a non stick pan is essential.
It feels very French too, full of butter, onions, baguette and cheese. It is a hearty, filling soup with caramelised onions topped with croutons and melted gruyere cheese.
This soup I have also tried to freeze. If you freeze in bags and also make the croutons, you can bag them up separately. When you are ready, defrost them and top with the cheese, and melt in the oven.
I know I make a lot of soup- it’s that time of year, and it’s comforting to have something you can hold in a bowl, legs crossed on the sofa.
6 large white onions
1 litre beef stock
large knob of butter
tsp olive oil (extra for brushing on croutons)
tsp caster sugar
salt & pepper
heaped tsp cornflour
50g gruyere cheese
Finely slice your onions by hand or in a food processor. Make sure that you slice them not dice them. Then, into a large non-stick saucepan, add your butter and olive oil and melt then add in the onions. Place the lid on the pot, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes and cook on a low heat till the onions are soft. Remove the lid, add salt and pepper and sugar and cook down for about 45 minutes till the onions have darkened to a nutty colour. Watch them as they can sometimes catch and burn so best to keep near and stir occasionally.
Make your beef stock and take a little bit of the liquid and make a paste with your cornflour. Once the onions are caramelised, add in this paste and stock and leave to cook for about an hour with the lid off.
While the soup is slightly reducing and all the flavours are combining, cut up your baguette into large croutons and brush with olive oil and a crack of salt and pepper and bake in the oven at 160 degrees for 6 minutes. Turn them over then add large pinches of gruyere cheese and place back in the oven for approx 3-5 minutes till bubbling and melted.
Pour your soup into large bowls and place your cheese croutons on the top and push them in so they soak up the rich soup and you can eat with a spoon with the salty tangy cheese.