French Onion Soup

Probably not in the least authentic, but this soup appears with regularity in the Windswept Kitchen.  It rarely travels far from Delia’s Soupe à l’oignon gratinée in my 1983 Book Club Associates edition of Delia Smith‘s Complete Cookery Course. Oddly, this is one of the very few recipes that I turn to Delia for – so that’s about  700 pages wasted…

  1. I do find Delia’s instructions for browning the onions to be lacking and I have never achieved beautiful brown caramel in 30 minutes – this stage takes most of the morning, in my experience.
  2. I prefer to make this with large sweet Spanish onions, when I can get them.
  3. I tend to be more generous with the garlic than Delia was in those days
  4. I always use a good quality white wine –
  5. but am not averse to using beef stock cubes (Knorr) as the real deal is rarely available in this household.
  6. I always add the optional cognac, it makes all the difference.

I Googled around to see if the recipe is available on-line – because I make no changes, I can’t see a way around copyright to reproduce the recipe in full here. It was heartening to see that the recipe is there and that although Delia is nowadays less pretentious in naming it, the recipe is unchanged so far as the ingredients go. She does add some more sensible suggestion about browning the onions, however. Me, I shall stick to a long slow caramelisation and remembering to get up in time to start the soup soon enough.

French Onion SoupDelia online

And here she is, in all her early glory

One final comment – I remember being taught to make French Onion Soup at school, in the late Sixties. That was a time when “Beef Stock” equated to “Oxo Cube” – I thus spent a large portion of my life believing that French Onion Soup was a hideous thing. It is not, it is beautiful… just don’t use Oxo. OK?

katieDelia knows better than Katie.

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