French Onion Soup

This recipe is based on the book by Paul Bocuse 'Simply Delicious'. When we made it a couple of time, James kept saying that he didn't want to drink any wine not to spoil the taste of the soup - it was that delicious!
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 7
Meal Difficulty: Medium


  1. Prepare stock by boiling 1.7 liters of water and crushing Oxo stock cubes into a bowl. Once water is boiled, our into your bowl, stir well and put aside ready to the later step.
  2. Peel, half and slice the onions. Melt half the butter in large sausepan or a wok, add the onions, and brown them for 3-5 min. 
  3. Stir in the flour, let it brown and then add your prepared stock. 
  4. Cook uncovered over moderate heat for about 15 min. 
  5. In the meantime, focus on preparing your bread. Start by starting your grill in the oven. 
  6. Cut the baguettes in halves lengthwise (you will probably buy 2 baguettes so you’ll use 3 parts for your soup; the forth parts will be good for a sandwich some other time) and toast it under the broiler.
  7. While you grill your bread (keep a very attentive eye on it though because it is very easy to burn it at times!), grate your cheese and dice the rest of your butter into small cubes for later.
  8. Once the bread is browned, let it cool for a couple of moments before you cut it into slices of 3 cm. At the same time change your oven setting to the standard and 180 degrees Celsius. 
  9. Use an oven proof casserole of 4.7 litres. Place a third of the bread slices to form the first layer (5-7 slices). Keep it all to the centre as if it’s a fortress because onions will go around it to create an onion ditch.  Sprirkle it with a quarter of the grated cheese, a third of your remaining butter and good sprinkle of freshly grated pepper. 
  10. Repeat the same process for the other two layers. Use ends of the baguette (you’ll have 3 of those) to support the layers by putting them around to keep your fortress stable.
  11. Once the bread structure is ready, carefully pour your onion soup with a ladle first around your bread into the ditch and once the soup is levelled with the top layer, feel free to pour over bread. 
  12. Sprinle with bread crumbs and the remaining cheese. 
  13. Place in the oven for 20 min until the bread crumbs have browned. 
  14. Serve by placing 3-4 bread slices into a soup bowl and adding a ladle of onion soup. There won’t be much of the liquid left because the bread would have soaken it all up but it’s very delicious that way. Bon appetite!


4 medium onions
60g butter
4 tbsp flour
5 Oxo beef stock cubes
1.5 sourdough baguete
150g Gruyere cheese
3 tbsp bread crumbs
1 tsp freshly grated pepper
by Anna Parsec
Updated: April 1, 2024
First published on: March 3, 2024

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First published on: March 3, 2024