2 large onions
3 stock cubes (beef/mushroom)
1 heaped teaspoon potato starch (or cornflour)
Half teaspoon sugar
1 tsp cooking oil
1 French stick
Grated cheese such as Emmental or grated Lancashire, cheddar
Tablespoon onion marmalade or chutney
Prep to Cook: Big saucepan, wooden spoon, chopping board, vegetable knife, basin, teaspoon
Prep: Peel, chop and dice the onions
Fry off the onions in the cooking oil until they soften and turn pale golden
Boil the kettle and unwrap stock cubes, cover with 750ml or water and stir to dissolve
Pour into the pan with the onions and stir and bring to the boil. Add the pinch of sugar.
Simmer gently for 15 mins
Blend the potato starch (or cornflour) with a little cold water and mix thoroughly
Pour into the soup and stir. Continue to boil for 10 minutes
Prep ingredients for serving OR store the soup for another day
Slice the French stick and lay on baking tray (line with foil)
Cover with grated cheese (Lancashire or Gruyere are good)
Pop under a grill and melt the cheese and cook until it is golden
Pour the soup into bowls and lay the cheese sticks on the side. Serve immediately
Onion soup with huge cheese on toast ‘dunks’ sums up this combination of ingredients. The secret is to caramelise the onions slowly so the flavours develop.
Cooks Know How: Onions are one of those ingredients that improve with frying. This is because they contain sugars within the cells that 'caramelise' as they cook. The only really important thing in this recipe is to allow that to happen by frying gently and stirring at the beginning in order that all the onion pieces brown and develop good flavour. Burning the onions is disaster so take your time and this first bit. This is about the only time when I think decent stock cubes are OK to use. You do need a salty sort of flavour and therefore the stock cubes do their job and also bring a rich brown colour to the liquid. Just a touch of thickening by the gelatinisation of potato starch or cornflour makes the soup less watery and easier to eat. It is a recipe that improves with keeping overnight so you can make the soup liquid in advance and store it in the fridge.
Cut the French stick lengthwise and in half to make 4 long portions. Coat with a good cheese and grilling gently to allow melting and then browning. Sprinkle the whole thing with chopped chives and serve with the piping hot soup.
Try red onions. You may also go for green leeks but use vegetarian stock cubes and keep the colour pale.