Onion soup

One of the stalwarts in my cooking bookshelves is The Best of Supercook Soups and Stews.  It’s one of those books you are more likely to pick up in a stand out the front of a newsagent than in a proper bookshop, but it’s none the worse for that. It’s been sitting in my kitchen for thirty years or so and the soups I started out making in it still get a guernsey. Like this one.

Onion Soup

I love this, it’s a bit of trouble, but worth it.

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 garlic clove crushed/very finely chopped
  • 1 small potato peeled and chopped
  • 8 medium onions peeled. Slice two thinly and push the slices out into rings. Keep separate. The others finely chop.
  • 2.5 cups milk
  • 2.5 cups water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch dried sage and thyme – don’t bother if you don’t keep these sorts of dried herbs about
  • 1 tbsp cornflour dissolved in 3 tblsp water
  • half a cup of single cream


  • In a medium frying pan melt the butter and oil over low heat. When the foam subsides, increase to moderately high, add the potato and cook, stirring frequently until it is brown.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the potato from the pan and add the onion rings. Cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes until they are translucent but NOT brown. This is so important to looks and taste. Remove and set aside.
  • Pour the milk and water into a large saucepan and add the salt pepper, sage, thyme, potato and chopped onions. Place the pan over low heat and bring the liquid to the boil. Cover and simmer until the onions are tender: check after 30 minutes or so.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and strain in some way. This could be using the back of a wooden spoon to press down on the vegetables to extract what juices you can from them, or maybe you have some sophisticated way of doing this. Discard the solids from the strainer.
  • Return the strained soup to the rinsed out saucepan. Add the onion rings and stir in the cornflour. Bring to the boil over moderate heat, stirring all the time. Simmer for one moment and DON’T stop stirring yet!!!
  • Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream. Serve.

Ingredients as per The Best of Supercook Soups and Stews, text mine.

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