Give the old soup and sambo combination a French twist and try Garth McColgan’s recipe.


  • for french onion soup:
  • 4 spanish onions (cut in half and sliced ½cm thick)
  • 50 g butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 big sprigs of thyme
  • 350 ml chardonnay white wine
  • 0.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 l liquid beef stock
  • for cheesy croutons:
  • 0.5 loaf ciabatta (cut into 4cm x 1cm squares)
  • 30g grated white cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices emmental cheese (cut into 3cm strips)
  • for croque monsieur:
  • 25 g flour
  • 25 g butter and some for spreading
  • 100 ml milk and 50ml cream (mixed)
  • 0.25 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 0.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 75g grated cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices white sliced pan
  • 3 slices italian veneto ham with or without rosemary (i recommend with)


  • For French Onion Soup:
  • Put the first 2 ingredients into a large saucepan. Cook over a low to medium heat, turning occasionally for 20 minutes until golden brown in colour. Be careful they don’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the next 5 ingredients and boil vigorously to reduce until there is half the amount of liquid left, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the thyme sprigs as they have done their job.
  • Add the liquid beef stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes. During the cooking use a spoon to skim off the impurities around the side of the saucepan.
  • For Cheesy Croutons:
  • Place the cheese on the Ciabatta squares and grill until the cheese has melted. Put 2 or 3 on top of each bowl of soup. Scatter a bit more grated cheddar over the soup and serve with Croque Monsieur.
  • For Croque Monsieur:
  • Over a medium heat, melt the butter and flour together until it looks like a paste. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add 50ml of the cream and milk mixture and stir well to combine.
  • Add another 50ml of the cream and milk mixture with the nutmeg and pepper, and then stir to combine well. Add the final 50ml of cream and milk mixture and stir well.
  • Add the cheese, remove from the heat and stir until cheese has melted.
  • Refrigerate for 20 minutes until cool.
  • Lay out the bread on a bread board. On one side of the sandwich spread 1 tablespoon of the cheese paste and top with a slice of ham. On the other side spread 2-2½ tablespoons of the cheese paste. Close the sandwich and butter the outside of the bread on both sides. Fry over a medium heat for 3 minutes until golden brown on each side.
  • Serve with the French Onion Soup.


Created by FoodActive's Garth McColgan for Aldi.