French Onion Soup

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Now, I know there are many ways to make a French onion soup – obviously some gastronomes would insist there is only one – and perhaps there is – but I like to be open minded about the way food is prepared. Like most of us amateur chefs, I hardly ever follow recipes and much prefer to put my own twist on it.

Experience tells me there are three ways of making French onion soup (Soupe à l’oignon in the French language) – the main difference lies in what’s placed on top of the actual soup.

One option includes covering the bowl with puff pastry, the other simply melting cheese on top of the soup and the third – cheesy toast floating in the bowl. Truth be told I’m a fan of all three. Though I do prefer the puff pastry method. It’s simple and easy, and quite a delight.

For those of you who have never made onion soup, I will share with you how I last went about preparing it. I got 4 massive onions, a heap of butter, some brandy and red wine. Salt, flour, dried thyme, one bay leaf, beef broth, the ever-important black pepper and a big block of Gruyere cheese. Following that I got out a big pot (some would insist on using a dutch oven – not the type of dutch oven you think – but the more conventional thick walled, usually cast-iron cooking pot.)

In the pot, melt butter on a medium heat. Once you have done this add your quartered onions sprinkle with salt and cook until caramelised – this will take a while – it’s important to be patient with the onions so they are cooked right – it is after all an onion soup. DO NOT BURN.

Meanwhile slowly boil about 2 litres of water in another pot.

Back to the onions, add the flour, only about two table spoons, to give them a nice consistency. Stir quickly else they will stick! Add the brandy and red wine – but only a tad bit – I won’t give you measurements, you would be able to decide when is enough. After a few minutes of stirring, though not too many, add the boiling water – again, try to do this slowly. That is your soup ready. Distrubute into bowls and then place two lawyers puff pastry on top with Gruyere cheese in the middle, this will act as a lid. Give it a little egg wash seal if you please. Bake this until the pastry is risen and serve. No bread needed – pastry should do. Garnish with parsley.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know how it goes!

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6 thoughts on “French Onion Soup

    Marthafied said:
    January 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Wow!!! Now that looks delicious…i have never had onion soup with puff pastry (toast, yes). Do you make your own puff pastry as well or use shop bought?

    vishalshresth said:
    January 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    its great , i like that, its a co-incidence that i dnt eat onion and wine etc…. so i suggested to my friend about this onion soup

    writingthebody said:
    January 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I love the look of it…and I love this sort of food! Never seen Fr onion soup with pastry on it before though!

    doublebhomestead said:
    February 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Wow! That looks really delicious. If I served that during the soup course my guests would be really impressed. Thanks for following my blog.

    C.J. C. said:
    December 10, 2013 at 3:26 am

    Sounds good! Thanks for the tip about putting the cheese between the layers of puff pastry…lawyers puff pastry must be very expensive… 🙂 Again, thank you for the tip & the smile…cjc

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