Serves: 4

Gloriously rich and sweet, with just the right amount of acidity, French onion soup defies the modest reputation of its main ingredient.


  • 1.3 litres of beef stock
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (preferably golden colour for its delicate flavour)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 4-8 slices of French bread
  • 140g gruyere finely grated


1Melt 50g butter with 1 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add 1kg halved and thinly sliced onions and fry with the lid on for 10 mins until soft.

2Sprinkle 1 tsp sugar and 2 tbsp maple syrup and cook for 20 mins, stirring frequently until caramelised. The onions should be golden.

3Add 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves for the final few minutes of the onions’ cooking time and stir well.

4Increase the heat and keep stirring as you gradually add 250ml dry white wine, followed by 1.3l beef stock. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins.

5To serve, turn on the grill and toast 4-8 slices of French bread. Ladle the soup into heatproof bowls.

6Put a slice or two of toast on top of the bowls of soup, and pile on 140g finely grated gruyere cheese and grill until melted.



  1. With this and at least one other recent recipe listing maple syrup as an ingredient, could this recipe be renamed as French-Canadian Onion Soup. It is certainly not French Onion Soup.


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