Onion Soup

As I write this my football team who have been mediocre for some years now have somehow climbed the way up to sit at the top of the league. There is some worrying speculation that they may cancel the league soon because of COVID (as everything is) which could just drain the rest of my limited dry-January willpower. However, if they really must do it, I say they do it now whilst we’re in pole position!

Onion soup is a meal I really enjoy. It’s great with the cheese on toast as in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’ but I enjoyed it with the cheese-dotted soda bread I made a few days ago. I didn’t really make many adjustments to his recipe and truly recommend the book.

Serves 6


5 onions

30g butter

4 cloves garlic

1/2 bunch fresh thyme (15g)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

30g flour

500ml cider (Jamie recommends scrumpy which is cider from the south-west of England but I just used a good quality cider)

1 litre Massel beef stock (this is a vegetarian beef-flavoured stock)

1 heaped teaspoon miso paste (I used brown as I couldn’t find a red miso paste)


1.) Peel and chop the onions

2.) Melt the butter in the pan, add the onions on a low heat

3.) Peel and chop up the garlic and add to the pan

4.) Strip off the thyme leaves – I find a good method is to start from the top of the branch and pull back. Add these to the pan. Generally a few sticks end up in the soup but they can be picked out.

5.) Add the flour and balsamic vinegar and cook down until the onions are golden. This is where the flavour comes from and is crucial.

6.) Pour in the cider and let it cook away for a few minutes.

7.) Add the miso and the stock and simmer for 25 minutes further.

8.) Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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