Gastronomixs

Onion soup

This classic French onion soup is so simple but has a great deal of panache. Onions contain inulin, a substance that is converted into fructose, and subsequently caramelises. This process gives the onions the ultimate umami taste, providing a perfect savoury element. The star anise further enhances this flavour. The preparation method presented here results in a maximum concentration of flavours. Although this method takes some time to complete, the result is sublime!

Onion soup

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Ingredients

1

kg

onions

2

 

star anise, whole

125

g

butter

100

ml

water

1

tsp

salt

200

ml

white wine

2

litres

beef stock

100

ml

Madeira

Preparation method

  • Clean the onions, cut them in half, and cut in half rings about 5mm thick.
  • Melt half the butter in a large frying pan and wait until it has finished foaming.
  • Add the sliced onion and the star anise and allow to caramelise slowly for about 30 minutes at medium heat. Don't rush otherwise the onions will taste bitter.
  • Transfer the onions to a small metal oven dish and mix in the remaining butter, salt, and water. Cover with aluminium foil and allow to caramelise further in a 125°C oven for two hours.
  • After this time has elapsed, the flavours will be extremely concentrated and you will have the perfect basis for your soup.
  • Heat the caramelised onions in a soup pan and deglaze with the white wine.
  • Cook until dry and then add the stock and simmer gently for half an hour.
  • Season the soup to taste with the Madeira and salt and pepper if needed.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve as a classic dish with grilled baguette slices topped with French mustard and Gruyère.

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