Real French Onion Soup

Recipe by robd16
READY IN: 2hrs 30mins




  • First, tackle the onions. Wearing gloves, peel the onions in a well ventilated area and slice into thin rounds or half rings (I use a mandolin for speed, precision and less crying).
  • Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat, add the onions (don't worry if they're spilling over the sides) stir well and cover with a lid (you may have to do this in 2 pans but you'll be able to add them together once they've reduced down).
  • After a minute or so, reduce the heat and cook very very gently for about 40 minutes, checking and stirring every 5-10minutes.
  • The onions should be unctuously soft by now, bathing in their own liquid. If not give them another 10 minutes or so.
  • Remove the lid, stir in the sugar, turn up the heat just a little and gently simmer for another 20-30 minutes or so until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Be careful the onions do not burn.
  • At this point you must stand over the pan and stir the onions constantly, for 10-15 minutes or more scraping the bottom of the pan if necessary so they do not burn until they become golden brown. Once this point is reached you can breath a sigh of relief!
  • Add the vermouth and boil for a few minutes until it has completely evaporated then add the stock, bay leaves and salt along with a good amount of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Simmer gently for half an hour, stirring from time to time then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
  • Meanwhile toast 6 slices of French bread and set aside.
  • When ready to serve, put a toasted slice of bread in each bowl, pour over the soup, sprinkle with grated gruyere cheese and grill until hot and bubbling.
  • Serve with extra crusty bread and allow yourself to be soothed and calmed.
  • You will be rewarded for all your hard work I promise!