Your cart

Your cart is empty

Melty French Onion Soup

The Hunter's Pantry French Onion Soup

The Hunter’s Pantry French Onion Soup

Serves 6

French Onion soup has many variations, but we like to take tradition and mix it up.  The traditional recipes from Alain Ducasse and Julia Child are classics and delicious – so try them and then compare.  We rather like our take on the amalgamation.

You will need a cast iron, copper or heavy-based pot, heat proof bowls or ramekins, a knife, muslin cloth or herb infuser, kitchen string, grater, wooden spoon, scales and measuring cups, and an oven with grill.



750g medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise. – Julia’s recipe calls for white and brown onions, but I often include French shallots, red onions, brown and white for such a celebration of the Allium

2 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon of Billington Light Muscovado

A liberal pinch of salt – preferably The Hunter’s Pantry fleur de sel (the mineral background flavour works beautifully and helps the onion to break down)

125ml cup dry white wine (plus one for the cook!)

2 litres of beef broth (you can make this yourself or find a good quality store-bought one Make a bouquet garni of 4 whole cloves, 3 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon crushed black pepper, 1 sprig fresh thyme and 1/2 head of garlic, pop into a herb infuser or cheesecloth (available in store) and tie with kitchen twine.

6 slices of baguette or a sourdough baguette for a bit more body, cut on the diagonal 1 cm thick

60ml of port wine – this is where the biggest deviation from the classic (and Julia’s recipe) lies – traditionally you would use Cognac – but the port really adds to the sweetness of the onions and amps up the flavour – particularly if you use store-bought stock

2 tablespoons Heidi Gruyere or 24 month Comté


Using a cast iron pot turn temperature to medium-low and add oil while warming and then add butter.

Add all the onions into the oil/butter mix and coat with the oil mix

Continuing on medium-low heat cover the pot and cook for around 20-30 minutes – covering the pot means all the lovely oniony condensation goes back into the pot – but check regularly to make sure they are sweating not burning – you want clear tender onions not browned onions

Turn up the heat to medium-high, add the sugar and 1tsp salt and cook, stirring all the time until the onions are a deep, rich brown – beautifully caramelised (be gentle so they don’t burn – this just makes them bitter.

Stir in 1 cup of beef stock and stir for a couple of seconds to get all the little bits of caramelisation from the bottom of the pot.

Add the rest of the stock and the bouquet garni you have made, now reduce the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Toast the baguette slices and drizzle with olive oil.

Remove the bouquet garni and check the seasoning – add salt and pepper to your taste.

Add the port and grate a little of the Comte into the soup (or add a rind of parmesan if you have one on hand - I like to keep all the leftover pieces of cheese in the freezer– a chunk of aged gouda or little bit of cheddar will add creaminess) to thicken the soup

Transfer portions to little ramekins or bowls.  Place a slice of the toasted baguette over the soup and add a generous amount of the cheese with a drizzle of oil.

Place these into an oven and bake for 10 minutes then turn on the grill and get the cheese bubbling and browning.

Remove from the oven, place the ramekin on a plate and serve.



Previous post
Next post