Caramelised onion soup

If you’ve never melted into your chair with pleasure at the first mouthful of melt-in-your-mouth onion soup then you’re in for a treat. This soup deserves to be prepared slowly and lovingly, stirring layer upon flavour as the onions break down and give off their full spectrum of complexity.

Serve with your choice of bread, and a chilled glass of crisp sauvignon blanc for a decadent dining experience with the simplest of foods.

Flavour: Sweet & savoury

Serves: 4 as light meal or 6 as a starter


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large onions or 6 medium onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • half teaspoon salt
  • half tablespoon sugar – I use rapadura or palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • half cup white wine
  • 6 cups water
  • Black pepper to taste

Optional extras:

  • Bayleaves – just one or two is plenty
  • A generous sprinkle of your favourite herbs (I like to use sage, thyme and oregano)
  • Bread to serve – my top choices would be:
    • Crusty baguette, oven-baked with garlic butter for 10 minutes
    • Garlic and herb focaccia


  • Large saucepan or stock pot
  • Ladle


  1. Finely slice onions and set aside
  2. Finely mince garlic and set aside (you’ll want your garlic minced to a smooth paste – see here for my garlic hack)
  3. Heat the olive oil in your saucepan or stock pot, and gently fry the onions on until they are translucent and starting to develop a light golden colour
  4. Add the garlic and salt to the onions and stir well, reduce the heat and continue cooking until onions and garlic are a deep golden-brown colour
  5. Add sugar, stir well, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes
  6. Turn heat to low, add balsamic vinegar, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes
  7. Add plain flour, and stir gently to combine for one minute
  8. Slowly pour in stock, stirring as you go to combine mixture
  9. Add the white wine, and bring soup to the boil
  10. Reduce heat to medium and simmer soup, adding one cup of water every 5 minutes
  11. Your soup will develop a mellow flavour, and the onions will be melt-in-your-mouth soft and sweet when your soup is finished, which will be approximately 30 minutes after reducing to simmering point
  12. Serve soup hot and fresh, with bread of your choice

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