French Onion Soup

In days long ago, long enough for the memories, if they were photographs to be somewhat hazy and most definitely in sepia tone, I was young and vibey and made a point in my up-and-coming executive career, to go to a particular stylish cafe (can’t recall the name now) in Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg. Oh-so-funky, I’d stand in the queue to be seated, and all alone (no company needed), ordered French Onion Soup for brunch.

Afterward I’d amble through the local market that was (possibly still is) THE thing to do on a Sunday…

Those were the days my friend, I thought they’d never end…

New memories are being made though. Mid thirties. Mom of two. Not so up and coming 😉 But trying fervently to just enjoy each moment life has to offer. And it’s winter. And it’s soup time. And after trying my darnest to make a soup my kids would like (they are anti-soupers), I decided to just make a soup I would like. Oooh. Yum! French Onion Soup.


  • 50g Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1.5kg Onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1-2 tsp sugar
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1.5l strong beef stock
  • Slices of French bread
  • Gruyere cheese


  1. Melt the butter and olive oil together and add the sliced onions on medium heat. Stir through and cover with a lid to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  2. Take off lid, sprinkle with sugar, stir through and keep cooking until nicely caremelized and brown. Keep your eye on, and stir frequently to make sure it does not burn.
  3. Add garlic and continue to cook for a few more minutes
  4. Add wine and broth and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  5. Once soup is cooked through, ladle into soup bowls.
  6. Toast slices of French bread in the oven and sprinkle with Gruyere cheese before putting it into the soup and leaving it under the grill for a few minutes.
  7. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of fresh thyme.

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