Soupe a l’Oignon

I’ve been wanting to make onion soup for a long time, and finally got around doing it now that the days are so dark and cold and rainy that I crave soup constantly. It is so simple to make and so delicious that I’m sure it will be on regular rotation at our house from now on!

I adapted the recipe from Mathilde’s recipe that I found on the French Vegetarian Association’s website. I added some cognac and muscovado sugar, and served the soup with toasted baguette slices with some melty vegan cheese on top. It gets dark after about four in the afternoon in Helsinki, so the picture is taken of my lunch bowl the next day!

Here’s what we put in our soup (serves 4-6):

  • 1 kg onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • black pepper and salt to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon muscovado sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 liters water

We sliced the onions pretty thickly (about 1/2 – 3/4 cm thick), chopped the garlic, and then fried them on medium heat in the olive oil in our largest cooking pot until golden and soft. The frying took about 20 minutes or so. Then we added the flour, stirred to mix evenly, added the cognac, and stirred again to remove all the bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Then we added the rest of the ingredients, and cooked the soup for about 45 minutes.

The Garlic bread (serves 2-3):

  • half a multigrain baguette, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 50 g vegan melty cheese (we had Cheezly Edam)
  • freshly ground black pepper

I preheated the oven to 200 degrees Celsius while the soup was boiling, and started making the breads when it had simmered for half an hour. I placed the bread slices on a baking wheet, combined the garlic with the olive oil, and spooned it over the bread slices. Then I let the oil seep in for a minute or two.

Now, I turned the slices over, grated the Cheezly over the slices, and ground some pepper over them. Then I baked the bread on the uppermost rack of our oven for about 6 minutes, until it was brown and crispy underneath and the Cheezly had melted.


  1. Posted November 21, 2008 at 17:10 | Permalink

    This looks great! I adore onion soup, especially in the winter!

  2. Posted November 21, 2008 at 18:46 | Permalink

    that soup looks so darn good. i love the garlic bread on top. that sounds really tasty. used to go to panera bread all the time and get their french onion soup. i practically lived on that stuff.

  3. Posted November 21, 2008 at 19:27 | Permalink

    I really love your serving suggestion. The bread on top sounds perfect! Best winter food.

  4. Posted November 22, 2008 at 01:21 | Permalink

    haha, for some reason I’ve always thought you were in Sweden!

    onion soups sounds lovely.

    it’s depressing that it’s getting dark so early, isn’t it? we even had snow today!

  5. Anni
    Posted November 22, 2008 at 13:43 | Permalink

    Carrie – Thanks, onion soup is so comforting in the wintertime!

    Joanna – I think I also could live off this soup all through the cold season…

    Mihl – the bread is so good in this soup, I love how it gets a little soft in the soup but still retains its crispiness around the edges!

    Steffi – maybe it’s the Swedish links in the blogroll? Yeah, the lack of light really depresses me too, I miss sunshine so much! Candles are such a poor substitute… We’re supposed to get snow this evening too, and more tomorrow!

  6. Posted November 23, 2008 at 09:02 | Permalink

    I haven’t had onion soup in ages! Where I am in Canada it’s getting dark around 5pm and we’ve had our first stay-on-the-ground snowfall, so I want soup all the time. This looks especially good. I like the addition of the garlic toast.

  7. Posted November 26, 2008 at 17:05 | Permalink

    We have never tried onion soup because we’re afraid of cooked onions, but yesterday I read your recipe and saw that they’re fried first… I told my boyfriend and he got super excited, haha. So we’re having onion soup soon, maybe tomorrow!

  8. Anni
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 21:20 | Permalink

    Alice – go for it! I think that the frying part is the most essential step to a tasty onion soup!

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