Recipe of the month: Soupe à l'Oignon

...or onion soup! A French classic, which I tried the other week. It's easy, warming, and totally delicious!


  • 1 good knob butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • olive oil
  • 1 good handful fresh finely chopped sage leaves 
  • 6 cloves garlic , peeled and crushed
  • 1kg of onions (white, red, shallots, whatever you have, mix them up!)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 litres beef, vegetable or chicken stock(beef or veal is the traditional stock in France) - the quality of the stock will go a long way to determine the quality of the soup!
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 8 slices toasted baguette, 2cm thick
  • 200 g grated Gruyère cheese 

onion soup


  1. Melt 50g butter with 1 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add 1kg halved and thinly sliced onions and fry with the lid on for 10 mins until soft. 

  2. Sprinkle in 1 tsp sugar and cook for 20 mins more, stirring frequently, until caramelised. The onions should be really golden, full of flavour and soft when pinched between your fingers. Take care towards the end to ensure that they don’t burn.

  3. Add the 6 thinly sliced garlic cloves and chopped sage leaves for the final few mins of the onions’ cooking time, then sprinkle in 2 tbsp plain flour (use a sieve) and stir well.

  4. Increase the heat and keep stirring as you gradually add 250ml dry white wine, followed by the stock. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mi

  5. To serve, turn on the grill, and toast 4-8 slices French bread. Ladle the soup into heatproof bowls.

  6. Put a slice or two of toast on top of the bowls of soup, and pile on 140g finely grated gruyère cheese. Grill until melted. Alternatively, you can complete the toasts under the grill, then serve them on top.


Enjoy as a starter or on its own for a warming and hearty lunch!