Onion soup is the way we kick off Christmas dinner in our household. Buttery and cheesy, hot and warming, it’s the perfect simple, festive dish. It’s a wonderful dish to look forward to eating after walking home in the rain. This is an incredibly easy recipe, it just takes a little time to slice and cook the onions – why not pop a Christmas film on whilst you’re cooking to destress after a day of work or essays?
It may seem like a very cheesy dish from the photo, but if you don’t like cheese, or don’t have a grill, this can easily be omitted. Traditionally made with beef stock, this version has vegetarian stock mixed with marmite, which adds a depth of flavour but does not overwhelm it. You do not need a blender for this recipe.
French Onion Soup
Serves 4 bowls soup
You will need a large pot with a lid, and:
1 kg onions
Generous hunk of butter (around 50g)
1 tbsp flour
250 ml white wine (Sainsbury’s basics or any other cheap wine is fine – but this can be replaced with more stock)
1 stock cube
2-3 tsps marmite (if you’re not vegetarian, you can replace the stock cube and marmite with beef stock)
Mixed dried herbs
Salt and pepper
small handful of grated cheese
- Peel, halve and slice the onions finely.
- Melt the butter in the pan with the oil. Turn down the heat to very low, and stir in the onion and sugar. Cook the onions very gently with the lid on for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure they don’t stick, until they are golden brown and beautifully caramelised.
- Stir in the flour and cook for another minute or so, and then add the wine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, pour 700ml boiling water over the stock cube, and marmite if using, and give a good stir.
- Simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until nice and thick. Season to taste. As the soup is finishing cooking, preheat the grill.
- Toast half a slice of bread. Put several ladlefuls of soup in the bowl, top with the toast and some grated cheese. Put it under the preheated grill for just a minute to melt the cheese, and enjoy with some red wine or a glass of milk.