Originally from Lyons, onion soup was made popular during the 19th Century by Parisian market workers in Les Halles. Traditionally served after a nuit blanche (sleepless night) because of its supposed ability to quickly dissipate the effects of alcohol, it is an invigorating and revitalising soup.


  • 150g butter
  • 4 medium-large onions (sliced)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 100ml red wine
  • 150ml beef stock
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 baguette
  • 150g grated Gruyère cheese


  • Heat the butter in a large, deep, heavy-based saucepan. Gently fry the onion and garlic for about 15 minutes. They must be soft, brown and lightly caramelised. Be careful not to let them fry crisp.
  • Add the wine, stock, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for around 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  • Preheat the grill. Cut the baguette into 2cm slices and toast it on both sides. Pour the soup into ovenproof bowls, place 1 or 2 pieces of baguette on top and sprinkle generously with the grated Gruyère.
  • Put the bowls under the hot grill. When the cheese is golden and bubbling, remove from the oven and serve immediately.