British onion soup

British onion soup

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(17 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins


Serves 4

Add some British ingredients to a classic French dish and voila, you have a whole new experience

Nutrition and extra info

  • without the topping

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal451
  • fat21g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs51g
  • sugars22g
  • fibre6g
  • protein15g
  • salt1.75g
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  • 50g butter or 2 tbsp dripping



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1kg onion, finely sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • few sprigs fresh thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 150ml cider



    Cider is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Apple orchards were…

  • 1l stock (vegetable or chicken, it's up to you)

For the top

  • 4 thick slices from a round country loaf
  • 100g mature cheddar, grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…

  • large handful parsley, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Heat most of the butter or dripping in a pan, then add the onions, sugar and herbs. Season and cook, uncovered, over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for up to 40 mins until sticky and brown. pour in the cider and simmer until reduced by half. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then cook for 20 mins.

  2. To serve, heat the grill to high. Spread the bread on both sides with the remaining butter or dripping, then toast under the grill until golden. Scatter with cheese and place back under the grill until melted. Serve the soup in bowls with a slice of the toast floating in it, scattered generously with parsley.

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Comments, questions and tips

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5th Aug, 2019
Needed to increase the stock quite a bit (or reduce the onions) I would skip the cider next time as it made it a tad too sweet. But was very nice.
13th Jan, 2018
I have just made this Soup and it was lovely. Yes it was sweet but I was expecting that, especially adding suger and cider. Anyway my changes were: As I didnt have fresh Thyme sprigs, I used small fresh rosemary tip sprigs, I used brown sugar, but half the amount and used beef stock cubes. Only cider in the house was a Magners, so I just had to drink the rest. Very worthwhile to make, shame I didnt make double this - I imagine that you could freeze down, but dont think it would have lasted in our house. Definitely make again.
happy bunny
18th Nov, 2014
Tasted alright. Left out the sugar and it was very sweet. Went straight through me.
lkrc87's picture
13th May, 2013
I halved this recipe as it was just me eating it but in hindsight I should've done the full amount as the time it takes seems a bit much for 2 bowls of soup! I cooked the onions for about an hour and they still hadn't gone very brown so I added a bit more sugar and a splash of balsamic and carried on! I used lamb stock as I had some and was a bit dubious about whether chicken or vegetable would have enough taste.
26th Oct, 2012
I thought this tasted like a bowl full of fried onions! Okay but wouldn't make again.
nasusg's picture
24th Mar, 2012
I have made this soup as a starter for a dinner party and everybody loved it.To add a bit more colour i added some worchester sause.
28th Jan, 2012
Very nice soup - had to leave the onions for a bit longer to get a bit of colour into them - will definitely make this again!
27th Oct, 2011
Made this last night for my girlfriend and she loved it, a really winter dish, it was a really easy to make soup that requires hardly any effort made it whilst baking a cake! I did substitute the chicken stock for beef which gave it a deeper flavor that combined with letting the onions go dark mahogany gave it the right coulor
12th Oct, 2011
To get the soup to the right color be sure and sweated down the onions until they are a dark mahogany in color. I have used red onions and the soup is just as wonderful.
31st Aug, 2011
nice but a bit sweet, would make again but with the dryest cider i can find!


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