Onion soup

Onion soup


We used to make this onion soup every so often at Lexington Street, but the industrial quantity of sliced onions required came at the cost of many tears and the smell seemed to permeate everyone’s clothes for days. Still, it remains a terrific recipe and something all of us make at home.


Quantity Ingredient
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons salted butter
10 large white onions, sliced
10 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 litre dry white wine
1 tablespoon dark muscovado sugar
2 litres chicken stock
2 bay leaves
small bunch thyme
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
day-old sourdough bread, to serve
goats’ cheese, (such a charolais, available from Mons at Borough Market), to serve (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan, gently heat the olive oil, then add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the onions and garlic, and cook for 30 minutes or until the onions are soft and brown. They need to be well caramelised as this will give the soup its distinctive flavour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan gently heat the wine until it starts to bubble and simmer until it has reduced by about a third. This evaporates the alcohol, removing a harshness that can influence the taste of the final soup.
  3. Sprinkle the sugar into the pan of caramelised onions, pour in the reduced wine and cook through for 5 minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves and the thyme, and cook gently over a low heat for a further 20 minutes. Add the salt to taste and a good grind of black pepper.
  4. Serve in warmed bowls with a chunk of sourdough baguette and a herby piece of dry goats’ cheese scattered into the bowls.
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