French Onion Soup

Cold and rainy days are back. We thought that winter time was over and we were almost ready to cook some summery recipes. A few weeks ago, I got a meat delivery from my friend, Andy, who owns Mac & Wild in London. He is butchering some delicious joint of meat. I ordered a couple of kilos of beef bones to make a beef stock. So, this is the first stage to realise the recipe. Homemade stock is easy to make, requires very little hands-on time, and will greatly improve the flavor of this soup. To make a great beef stock, you need a few ingredients and patience!

Ingredients: 2 kg beef bones roasted in a oven at 180 degrees Celsius. 5 carrots, 1 Spanish onion, 2 celery sticks + leaf, 4 garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.

Method: Put the roasted beef bones in a stock pan, add the vegetables roughly chopped in the same tray and roast them until they caramelise. When done, add the spoon of tomato paste and cook the tomato paste for a minute. Place the vegetable in the stock pot with the bones. De-glaze the roasting tray with a splash of water, add it to the pan. Place the vegetables inside the pan. Cover the bones and vegetables with water. Add the bay leaf and celery leaf. Bring to the boil, skim it and reduce the heat. Simmer for 2-3 hours. Strain the bones and pick any meat left on the bones. As the bones have been braised for a few hours it will make an extra garnish. The stock is ready to be used.

“Soupe รก l’oignon” is a French classic recipe dated from the 18th century. which everyone enjoys through winter time. A comfy and rustic home cooking food with a meaty taste, croutons and toasted cheese. Who couldn’t resist the call!?  It takes only 10 minutes to prepare it and 1 hour and an half to slowly cook it. When it’s done, a full explosion of flavours are going through your mouth. Your taste buds are enjoying a great moment and so are you.

Ingredients: 50 of butter, 4 Spanish onions, 2 garlic cloves, 50 ml of white wine, 50 ml port, few sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf,  2 L beef stock, salt pepper.

Method: Heat butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat. Add the sliced onions, grated garlic and salt. Slowly caramelise the onions. Stir them frequently. The onions must start to leave a few brown bits (sucs) to the bottom of the pan.  Add white wine, port, thyme, bay leaf  and beef stock. Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Remove thyme, bay leaf and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Because of the actual situation, I am using my soda bread (see recipe) to make the toast and grated mature cheddar but if you have a baguette and some Gruyere at home it would be even better. To serve; spoon into bowls, top with bread that is covered in cheese and which has been broiled for 2 mins.

PS: You can find the full recipe in my “Repertoire” page.

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