Legend has it that the first French Onion Soup soupe à l’oignon à la lyonnaise, was made by King Louix XV. He was looking for a late night snack to eat, but had nothing in his hunting lodge pantry, except for butter, onions and champaigne. There is no official confirmation of this, but it is a lovely story and one we should perhaps remember next time we are looking for something to cook. Try and make do with what you have, maybe something great will come of it.
The secret to great French onion soup is the slow cooking of the onions until the sugars come out and the onions become golden brown. Onions should caramilize slowly within 30 minutes, but the longer you leave them the more complex the flavours become.
Eric makes a great French onion soup, and I managed to twist his arm to share the recipe. Grab a glass of wine, some french baguette smothered in Gruyere cheese and a plate of this delicious soup, and you can almost imagine yourself sitting on the sidewalks of Paris .
If you are a vegan, vegan cheese can be used to replace the Gruyere.
- 50g butter
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 medium sized onion, sliced very thinly
- 5ml sugar
- salt to taste
- 1 litre vegetable stock (4 tsps stock powder to 1 ltre/ or 4 stock cubes
- a few sprigs of thyme
- 250ml dry white wine
- Gruyere cheese grated
- a few slices of french loaf
- Peel and slice the onions very thinly. I like to use a mandoline.
- Melt the butter over low heat and gently cook the onions until soft, add the garlic and sweat down slowly until the onions become golden and caramelized. Do not allow to burn.
- Add salt, stock, thyme and wine and cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Preheat the grill and slice french loaf.
- Grate the Gruyere cheese over the slices of bread and place under the grill, until the cheese bubbles.
- Serve the soup and pop the cheesy slices on top.