Classic French Onion Soup

Classic French Onion Soup

When you have a left over rib of beef bone, obviously you either give it to the dog or, as I did, make beef stock from it. Simply boil the bone in 600ml of water, with a bouquet garni, half an onion, a few cloves of garlic, half a carrot and a few inches of celery for 2.5-3hrs.

The question is, though, what to do with the stock once you have made it? Fewer dishes call for beef stock but a nice, quick and simple one is a classic French onion soup. Here’s my recipe for it:


Ingredients –  

500g onions – sliced

Thyme – dried of fresh

Rosemary – dried or fresh

3 cloves of garlic – thinly sliced

500ml beef stock – hot

Large glass white wine

Tablespoon of Demerara sugar

Dessertspoon balsamic vinegar

25g butter

Olive oil

100g Gruyere – grated

4 Slices of baguette



  1. Melt the butter with the thyme, rosemary and a splash of olive oil in a saucepan. Then add the onions and fry them with the lid on for 7-8 minutes or until they are soft.
  2. Add the sugar and balsamic and cook for a further 15-18 minutes, stirring often to caramelise the onions.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two, before pouring in the wine and beef stock. Put the lid on and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes. The colour of the soup should be a lovely caramel colour but, if you want it darker, you can add no more than 2 drops of gravy browning as a cheat.
  4. Divide the soup between two heatproof bowls. Put 2 slices of baguette on top of the soup in each bowl and top with the grated Gruyere. Place under the grill until the cheese has melted. Serve.