Winter Warmer – French Onion Soup

With my New Year Resolutions firmly ingrained on my brain and absolutely no danger of me reneging on any of them I thought my first recipe should be something nutritious, light and generally worthy. You can’t go wrong with soup. Right?

Well of course you can go wrong by drowning it in alcohol and cheese but whatever its Christmas (or at least it was). For this endeavour I employed the services of the fussy eater who liked the look of the cheese but not so much the onion. Or the soup generally.


  • Onions
  • Garlic cloves
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine
  • Beef stock
  • Garlic bread
  • Gruyère cheese
  • Brandy (I used Cointreau)
  • Salt and pepper

This recipe is based on one by James Martin with some input from Delia. Mix and match.

Melt the oil and butter in a saucepan. Add sliced onions, garlic and sugar, and keep turning them from time to time until the edges of the onions have turned dark – this will take about 6 minutes.

Reduce the heat and leave cooking until a caramel film appears on the bottom of the pan. Add stock and wine, season, stir and bring to a simmer and leave to cook gently, without a lid, for 1 hour.

To serve ladle into bowls and place a slice or two of garlic bread on top:

Sprinkle with loads of cheese and then place under the grill:

The fussy eater actually ate some of this. There’s a first time for everything! It was kind of sweet and savory and the cheese was all stringy and clingy. Very nice!

12 thoughts on “Winter Warmer – French Onion Soup

  1. My fiance and I used to love French onion soup before we started eliminating meat and dairy from our diets… I think I’ll try this with vegetable stock, margarine, and vegan cheese, even though it won’t have the same exact flavor.

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