A warming and delicious soup, perfect as a starter.


Serves - 6

Prep time - 1-hour approx.

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1kg Spanish onion, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 50g smoked bacon
  • 120ml Brandy
  • 30ml dry sherry
  • 35g flour
  • 1.5l beef stock
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper


  • 1 baguette
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced
  • 60g Emmental cheese, grated


  1. Place a large, heavy-based pan on the stove.
  2. When the pan is hot, add the oil and melt the butter then add the onions, garlic and bacon.
  3. Cook over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring so they become soft and dark golden brown.
  4. Add the brandy and sherry and bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until the liquid has reduced by two-thirds.
  5. Stir in the flour then add the stock and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, skimming constantly, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Check the seasoning.

To make the croutons

  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC. Cut the baguette into 1cm thick slices.
  2. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake until golden brown.
  3. Rub the cooked croutons with the garlic, sprinkle with the cheese and place under a hot grill until the cheese turns golden brown.
  4. Serve the soup in bowls garnished with the croutons.