You will never tire of this delicious, cheesy, classic soup. 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 50 g (13⁄4 oz) butter

  • 3 brown onions, thinly sliced

  • 3 red onions, thinly sliced

  • 3 white onions, thinly sliced

  • ½ teaspoon soft brown sugar

  • 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) dry white wine

  • 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) good-quality chicken stock

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 tablespoons Cognac, dry vermouth or dry sherry

  • 200 g (7 oz/1½ cups) grated gruyère cheese

  • Croutons

  • sourdough baguette, cut into 12 thick slices

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1.

    Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and stir to coat in the oil and butter mixture. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • 2.

    Stir in the sugar and wine. Cover and cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very tender.

  • 3.

    Remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring, for another

  • 4.

    5–10 minutes, until the onions begin to caramelise and become an even golden brown.

  • 5.

    Add the stock and bay leaf, then simmer for another 30 minutes.

  • 6.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (fan-forced). To make the croutons, lightly brush both sides of each slice of bread with olive oil and place on a baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes on each side, until crunchy and deep golden brown.

  • 7.

    Increase the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F (fan forced).

  • 8.

    Remove the bay leaf from the soup. Stir in the Cognac, then taste and season with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.

  • 9.

    Pour a small ladle of soup into six ovenproof soup bowls. Add a crouton and a sprinkling of gruyère cheese. Ladle in the remaining soup, then add another crouton to each bowl and a thick layer  of cheese.

  • 10.

    Place the bowls on a baking tray and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the soup is bubbling hot and the cheese has formed a golden crust.

  • 11.

    Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving, as the soup and bowls will be extremely hot.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

  • Energy 4913kj
  • Fat Total 344g
  • Saturated Fat 190g
  • Protein 263g
  • Carbohydrate 182g
  • Sugar 27g
  • Sodium 8011mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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This recipe is from 'Low & Slow: Comfort Food for Cold Nights' by Louise Franc. Published by Smith Street Books (RRP $39.99).

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