French Onion Soup

French onion soup is a classic bistro soup – still found on many menus in France and elsewhere today.  Sometimes I serve the soup from the pot it’s made in or in individual deep soup bowls.

Serves 4 – 6



  • 50g (2ozs) butter
  • 1.25kg (3lbs) onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 100ml (3 1/2 fl ozs) dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 pints (1.5 litres) beef (chicken or vegetable) stock

Cheesy Croûtes

  • 2 – 3 slices baguette per person, sliced 1cm (1/2 inch) thick
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
  • 25g (1oz) melted butter
  • 125g (5ozs) grated Gruyére


  1. In a large saucepan or casserole pot, melt the 50g (2ozs) butter then add the sliced onions, season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Cook over a low heat for about 45 minutes (even as long as 60 minutes) stirring regularly until the onions are a deep golden brown but not burnt. 
  3. Add the white wine, turn up the heat to medium and allow the wine to boil, uncovered until it evaporates. 
  4. Add the stock, bring back to a simmer and allow to cook for a further 10 minutes, season and set aside while you make the cheesy croûtes – I usually make these while the onions are cooking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
  6. Rub the slices of baguette with the cut pieces of garlic.  Brush with half the melted butter on a baking tray and arrange the slices in a single layer but not all sitting next to each other.  Brush with the remaining butter and place in the hot oven for 10 minutes or until the bread is golden.  The croûtes will sit like this for a few days in a air-tight box.
  7. When the soup is ready and you are ready to serve, preheat the grill to very hot.  If you are serving the soup in the pot then cover the top of the hot soup with the croûtes and cover with the grated cheese and place under the grill until the cheese is bubbling and golden.  Or if you are serving in individual bowls, then divide the soup between warm, deep bowls, place 2 or 3 croûtes in each bowl sitting on top and cover with grated cheese and grill until golden and bubbling.  Serve.