The secret to good soupe à l’oignon Gratinée is patience. Too often we’re told to make meals in 30 minutes or less, but the truth is that it’s often not enough time to add a generous pinch of love. Instead of rushing, why not take the time to enjoy cooking (while simultaneously enjoying a glass of vin)? Now, I know that we’re all busy, endure late nights at work and listen to screaming kids most evenings, but the good news is that this soup is perfectly freezer friendly, so you can spend a lazy weekend making a big double or triple batch. Simply pop individual serves in recycled jars or takeaway containers, label with the contents and date, and freeze for up to 3 months. With back ups in the freezer, this dish shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to prepare on a chilly winter weeknight.
To watch us demonstrate this on The Morning Show, Click Here
French onion soup in a bread bowl
For the soup:
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1kg brown onions, peeled and sliced thinly
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp plain flour
- 1 Tbsp cornflour
- 2L BEST quality chicken or beef stock
- 200ml white wine (or red wine, or port, or vermouth)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 8 large bread rolls
- 1 large clove garlic
- 300g gruyere cheese, shredded
- heat a large broad based saucepan or deep fry pan to low-medium heat, add butter and sliced onion, along with salt and sugar. Place lid on ajar, and cook, stirring every few minutes, for about 30 minutes or until the onions are very soft and a deep rich caramel colour (without being dry/crispy or burned in any way, cook them for longer if you need to, the colour really does need to be like caramel fudge. If the onions start to dry out or catch, add a touch of water)
- Next, add the 2 flours, then stir until combined. Then add the wine and cook until evaporated. Finally, add stock, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add cider vinegar at the end of cooking.
- Preheat oven to 180C. To make the bread bowls, slice off the top and remove soft bread from the inside using a small pairing knife, so that the crust remains in a “bowl” shape. Shred or slice the soft bread into small croutons. Place the croutons in the oven and bake until lightly golden (about 10 minutes). Slice an edge off the garlic clove, and rub the inside of the bread with the garlic.
- Change the oven setting to grill, on medium heat. Take half the grated gruyere and spread across base of the bread rolls. Carefully spoon the hot soup into each bread bowl, about 0.5cm from the top. Top soup with toasted croutons and then remaining gruyere. Grill, along with the lids on the side, until the cheese has melted and grilled to a golden brown colour. Serve immediately.