It’s been a very busy few weeks here at SaucyPans land. We had a lot of foodie related things going and had no time to actually cook ourselves! This had to be rectified with a delicious, belly-warming meal now that it actually is cold and not the fake cold that came a few weeks ago and fooled us all.
Being in Nice last week, I was inspired to actually finally cook some more French things. I have a beautiful French cookbook (Ripailles) at home I got one Christmas and never actually tried any of the recipes, for shame! It’s probably the prettiest cookbook I own and it has some really gutsy sort of meals in it.
Wanting to go French but also not really wanting to spend money on rabbit and lots of other ingredients, I opted to make a French onion soup.
A classic and incredibly rich and delicious.
But it wouldn’t be Saucy Pans if I hadn’t changed a few things to make it a little different!
Instead of using yellow onion as it is common place, I used three different kinds of onions, because why the hell not?! As you may well be aware, we like to sometimes be a bit ridiculous, remember the 7 Cheese Mac ‘n Cheesei we did?!
Anyway, I used the sweetest of onions, namely red onion, shallots and leek to make it a little Welsh. We all need a little Welsh inside us, AMIRITE?!
Yields: 4-6 portions
– 1 large red onion
– 3 banana shallots (the big ones)
– 1 big leek
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
– 1 bay leaf
– 2 tsp of sugar
– BIG knob of butter
– 1 Tbs of plain flour
– 1.5l beef stock (or veggie stock if you want to keep this vegetarian!)
– A dash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
– Baguette or any crusty bread sliced
– Strong cheese, typically Gurye but I used extra mature double Gloucester
Slice all your onions as finely as your knifing skills allows you to, or use a mandolin (that’s a slicer for you and me) to do the dirty job.
Use a big saucepan and heat the butter with a splash of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning. Add your onions and garlic and on a low heat, cook down the onions until brown and sticky, about 30 mins. It’s important to cook the onions this long as it not only will make your soup taste better but it will also not give you belly ache from all the onions. I once made this soup using yellow onions and didn’t cook it quite long enough and needless to say, my housemates and I had so much wind, the roof top of our house almost came off.
Prepare your stock.
Once the onions fall apart when squished and are golden brown, add the flour and mix, trying to get all the brown sticky bits on the bottom and cook out the flour.
Add the hot beef stock and keep mixing to dissolve the flour. The soup should become nice and thick. If it’s too thick for your taste, add a little water. Add the bay leaf and cook for a further 30 mins. Season with salt and pepper and a dash of Worcestershire sauce to give it a tangy, slightly fruity taste. This is optional and totally not French.
Toast your slices of baguette, then lay them on a tray and add grated cheese on top, Put it under the grill until the cheese has melted and is bubbly.
When serving the soup, add the baguette slices on top and grate some more cheese onto the soup, or if you, like me prefer non-soggy bread, serve on the side.
Delicious and incredibly rich considering it’s just onion soup!