After all the indulgence and expense of Christmas and the New Year, this hearty soup is the perfect antidote. Ideal for a warming winter lunch or
supper it’s simple to make, tastes delicious and doesn’t cost a fortune.
Serves 4 – Ready in 1½ hours
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 15g butter
- 650g small red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1.2litres beef or vegetable stock
- Few sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra to garnish
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 thin slices day old French bread
- 75g Gruyere cheese, grated
- Heat the oil and butter in a large, deep heavy-based saucepan until the butter is sizzling. Add all the sliced onions and cook very gently over a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Sprinkle over the sugar and cover and cook for a further 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and golden.
- Stir in the flour and half the mustard and cook for 1 minute, then gradually stir in the stock. Add the thyme sprigs, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper (see Tip) and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Lightly toast the slices of French bread on one side. Spread the untoasted sides with the rest of the mustard and top with the grated Gruyere cheese. Pop under a hot grill for 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and top each with two hot Gruyere croutons. Serve immediately garnished with thyme sprigs.
TIP: If you use stock made up from stock cubes taste the soup before adding any seasoning as some can be quite highly seasoned.