Sunday, 31 July 2016

French Onion Soup

Weekend Cooking with Best Fish Reads allows me to get one last post in for this year's Paris in July event with Thyme for Tea.

During the winter months I love my slow cooker, but I've never tried to use it to make soup. This weekend I felt inspired to give it a shot.

I have a wonderful Slow Cooking book by Aussie kitchen legend, Margaret Fulton. 

We've enjoyed her Osso Bucco, Lamb Pilaf, Lamb Shanks and Beef Stroganoff over the years and I've used her chicken and beef stock recipes as a basis for making my own stock.

I always find her recipes easy to follow, using ingredients I usually have to hand with the end results guaranteed yummy for the whole family (although I always add a little more herb and spice than she recommends).

In honour of Paris in July, I decided to try her French Onion Soup (soupe a l'oignon).

Onion soup dates back to Roman times and was considered the poor person's soup.

In the 18th century, the French developed the modern recipe we all know and enjoy.

Legend has it that it was actually King Louis XV who made the first French Onion soup from the only ingredients to be found in his hunting lodge - butter, onions and champagne.

The gratin and gruyere cheese version familiar to most Francophiles is a modern invention.

As with all her recipes, Fulton's French Onion Soup was easy to prepare and cook.

The aroma of the caramelising onion and butter was divine.  

I added some sprigs of thyme during the slow cooking phase because I simply have to have more flavour.

I also added some parsley, croutons and parmesan cheese at the end, but decided against gratinising it as I was too hungry to wait any longer.

It was delicious, although a I found that a little goes a long way. The sweetness of the caramelised onions was a little overbearing at times.

One recipes I read (for comparison) suggested using water instead of stock to get a more traditional flavour. I might try that version next.
I will also definitely explore adding more spices like pepper and garlic next time to give my savoury taste buds a break from the sweetness.


  1. I love French Onion soup so I wonder why I've never made it myself. I agree that you need the spices to complement the onions. Maybe when the temperatures moderate a bit here, I'll be back to soup.

  2. A big Paris connection with Onion Soup is that after enjoying Paris night life, tourists and other people went to the old (pre-1970s) Les Halles Market for a bowl of it at a crazy hour like 3 AM, when the market people were just preparing to open for trade. So good choice for Paris in July! I love onion soup, usually use the Julia Child recipe, so good choice for Weekend Cooking too.

    best... mae at

  3. Oh this sounds so yummy. I love onion soup, especially in winter. We haven't seen too many recipes this Paris in July, so thanks for sharing this one. I'm sensative to gluten, but when in france i have very few issues with the baguette. I love soaking the old bread in the soup too. It's a treat I allow myself only in France!

  4. My husband absolutely loves French Onion Soup.

  5. Oh it sounds delicious Brona, I'm sure it smelt wonderful as it cooked. I love French Onion Soup too. I'd never heard the bit about Louis XV and the champagne- intriguing.

    1. I bought some yummy gruyere cheese whilst out today and it worked SOOOOOO MUCH better with the soup than the parmesan did.
      Those Frenchies know what they're talking about after all :-)


I know that blogger comments can be a pain, but I do love to hear from you. Please log onto a google account to make it as easy as possible.

All spam & anonymous comments will be deleted and comment moderation is in place for most posts.