Let’s make French onion soup

This week we’re reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Set before and after the French Revolution, the novel tells the story of Dr Manett’s release from imprisonment in the Bastille and his reunion with his daughter.

14 July is Bastille Day which is a major French national holiday commemorating the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 which was a major turning point in the French Revolution. Today is also known as Fête de la Fédération which celebrates the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790.

To join in with these celebrations we thought we would make a staple of French cuisine which is easy to follow and delicious – French Onion Soup.


  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Onions
  • Sugar
  • Garlic
  • Plain flour
  • White wine
  • Beef stock
  • French bread
  • Gruyere cheese

Step 1: Start chopping about 1kg of onions. White onions work best but you can throw in a few shallots and red onions for flavour.

Step 2: On medium heat fry the onions in 50g of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil for about 10 minutes until soft.

Step 3: Add in a teaspoon of sugar and cook for 20 minutes. The onions will begin to caramelise by turning a golden brown. Make sure you don’t burn your onions as this will add a bitter flavour to your soup.

Step 4: Add in 4 garlic cloves finely chopped for the final few minutes of frying. Once integrated sprinkle in 2 tbsp of flour.

Step 5: Time to increase the heat and start slowly adding in 250ml of white wine. Keep stirring the mixture and add in 1.3lt of rich beef stock. Once added cover the pot, turn down the heat and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 6: Slice your baguette and grate the gruyere. Grill your baguette slices covered in the cheese.

- 6Step 7: Ladle the soup into a bowl and top with the grilled cheese. Enjoy!Check out our other entries in the “Let’s make” series

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