French onion soup

May 8, 2011

An adaptation of Skye Gyngell’s ‘Panade of slow-cooked onions with Gruyere’, this is a simple, tasty soup. I replace apple brandy with brandy or you could use white wine.  A good quality (or homemade) vegetable stock works just as well as chicken stock.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
50g unsalted butter
4 brown onions, peeled and very finely sliced
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
50ml apple brandy
1 bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
750ml chicken or vegetable stock

to serve –

4 slices of good quality white bread
1 garlic clove, halved
120g Gruyere, grated
handful of curly parsley very finely chopped

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with the sugar and add a pinch of salt. Sweat gently for 20 minutes until very soft. The onions will deepen in colour as the sugar and butter begin to caramelise.

When the onions are really soft, add the brandy and increase the heat to reduce the liquor, cooking off the alcohol. Add the herbs and pour in the stock.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes or so, or until the stock has reduced slightly and the flavour is deep and intense. Discard the herbs.

Toast the slices of bread until golden brown on both sides. Rub with the cut garlic clove while still hot and place one slice in each warm soup plate. Ladle over the onion broth and sprinkle with the Gruyere. Finish with a grinding of pepper and a sprinkling of parsley if you like.

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One Response to “French onion soup”


  1. Made this soup today and it was a great success here in London! The french man in Nicolas wine shop has also asked me for the recipe! Thank you!!!


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