French Onion Soup Recipe | Exeter Cookery School, Devon

French Onion Soup Recipe

French Onion Soup Recipe

French Onion Soup is a real stomach-hugger and, what’s more, can be made well in advance and frozen.

French Onion Soup – or Soupe d’Oignon – has rather fallen out of favour in recent times. Ubiquitous on the menu of any self-respecting UK based French restaurant in the 60’s and 70’s it is overdue a welcome comeback.

It’s easy to be a bit glib about making soups, but a good soup needs just as much care and attention as any dish and no more so than in the seasoning department. So often I’ve looked forward to a hearty soup for lunch or as a starter only to have to add vast quantities of salt or pepper at the table. So, when you make this classic French onion soup for yourself, make sure you season it really well way before it even gets a sniff of a dining table.

French onion soup can be made well in advance and stored in the fridge for up to a week. Re-heat slowly and simmer gently for a couple of minutes before serving.

Serves Six


6 large white onions
75g unsalted butter
1 glass dry white wine
2 ltrs veal or chicken stock
1 tbsp plain flour
Salt and ground black pepper
1 fresh baguette
400g grated Gruyere or Cheddar cheese


Peel and halve the onions and cut into 5mm slices. Gently sweat in 50g of the butter until translucent, then continue to cook, stirring occasionally until well caramelised, ie a deep golden brown.

Stir in the dry white wine and simmer gently until reduced by two thirds. Now add the stock and simmer for half an hour.

Mash the flour into the remaining butter to form a Beurre Manier, then add pieces of this to the soup, stirring as you go, until thickened to your liking (it shouldn’t be too thick, but should have lost its ‘thinness’).

Season well with salt and black pepper.

Cover and keep hot.

Heat the grill to high.

Slice the baguette into six thick disks and arrange on a lightly greased baking tray. Toast lightly on both sides, then sprinkle liberally with all but a handful of the grated cheese and grill until bubbling and golden brown.

Pour the soup into six ‘Bistro’ bowls (for that authentic French Onion Soup look), making sure that the onion in evenly distributed, and float a crouton on top.

Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve.