I’m lucky enough to be in France this week, enjoying the snow and the delicious comfort food that the Savoie region has to offer in winter. Yesterday I had the most delicious French Onion soup at a little cafe on the slopes, and it inspired me to share my own tried and tested recipe.
This was a recipe that I happened upon when I bought my first French cookbook. I had fun learning to cook many dishes out of this book, and in this case, it was literally love at first bite.
Here’s what goes in:
2 tablespoons of butter
3 large onions, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons of flour
2 litres of chicken stock
1 cup of white wine
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 French baguette
A three-quarter cup of Gruyère or any strong-flavoured hard cheese
How to do it:
First, cut your onions in half and then take each half and slice the onion very, very finely. You want the onions in this soup to be delicate. In a heavy-based (preferably cast-iron) pot, melt the butter and fry the onion and garlic on a low heat until the onion caramelises and turns golden brown in colour. Add the flour, making sure that
all the onions are well-coated. This will thicken your soup. Gradually add the chicken stock and white wine, stirring continuously. Bring this to the boil and add the herbs and seasoning. Cover the pot and allow to gently simmer for about an hour. When the soup is ready you can turn it off and reheat it for later use if necessary.
About 20 minutes before you’d like to serve the soup, preheat your grill and prepare the baguette. Slice the baguette diagonally to get nice long pieces, and then sprinkle the grated cheese on top of each one. Grill for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and turns golden brown.
Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs from the soup before serving. This soup can be served in individual bowls with the slice of bread floating on top or if you’d like a smaller cocktail version, serve it in a teacup with the bread balanced over the top.