French Onion Soup Recipe

by Barry Lewis


6 Onions (white, red, yellow or a mix) peeled and sliced thin

3tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp butter

Pinch sugar

2 cloves garlic, grated / minced

2 Litres Beef stock

60ml vermouth (optional, use a white wine or omit)

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

For the toasts

1 baguette, sliced thick

150g Gruyere, grated

50g parmesan, grated

Additional olive oil to brush

Chloe and I team up to make a simple twist on a French onion soup! We filmed this on one of the hottest days of the Year but it was actually super delicious and extremely easy to make, the cheesy baguette topping can be baked into the soup as it cooks away or you can add them on at the end as we did in the video….there’s plenty of twists and variations on this, but this was a fun, minimalistic and super easy recipe that really packs a punch, proper wholesome! Hope you try it 🙂

How to make an easy French Onion Soup

First up we’ll caramelise the onions, get the olive oil in a large oven proof dish that can also go on the hob, pour it in and add the onions, cook over a medium heat stirring to coat the oil as it cooks. Cook the onions until completely softened at this stage, around 15 minutes or so, try not to char them. Add the butter, then keep cooking for a further 10 minutes or until browned stirring often. Then add the sugar, and keep heating and stirring (adding an extra tbsp of olive oil if it’s sticking too much) until the onions are caramelised.

For the final minute of cooking the onions add in the garlic and stir through. The pan bottom will be a little sticky with the onions, add in the vermouth and scrape the bottom of the pan as you go to deglaze the pan and add the flavour into the fluid, then pan actually cleans itself by doing this and you get all that caramelised flavour, be careful not to burn them though!

Pour in the beef stock and thyme leaves, if it does not come to a simmer immediately, bring the pot up to a gentle bubble, add a little salt and pepper, then cover it with a lid and leave it to simmer covered for 30 minutes in the stock. After the 30 minutes remove the bay leaves with a slotted spoon, they should be easy to spot.

You can toast the bread whilst the soup is bubbling away. Add the sliced bread to a baking tray lined with parchment, brush one side of the bread with some olive oil, and leave that olive oil side facing upwards, bake in an oven pre-heated to Gas7/200fan/220c/425f until lightly browned, this may not take long, keep your eye on it! Once done, flip over, brush with olive oil on the other sides and sprinkle the cheeses on top, bake again until the cheese has browned. Again, this can catch really quick, keep an eye on it!

Serve the soup once simmered in a bowl with a slice or 2 of the cheesy toasted baguettes sitting in the bowl. Super good!

You can also add the toasts into the soup dish and bake it with the cheese sprinkled on top in the entire pot if you wish for a real show stopper. Do this once the soup has simmered for the 30 minutes and omit the other toasting steps. Again, baking at the same temp of Gas 7 or equivalent until the cheese is browned.