The classic French Onion soup gets an English makeover with dry cider and lashings of cheddar cheese in Nicola Millbank’s new recipe book Milly’s Real Food.
✻80g of butter, cubed
✻3 banana shallots, peeled and chopped into discs
✻2 white onions, peeled and chopped into discs
✻2 red onions, peeled and chopped into discs
✻2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
✻2 tbsp of brown sugar
✻1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
✻2 tbsp of plain flour
✻200ml of dry English cider
✻600ml of beef stock
✻3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme and more for serving
✻A good pinch of salt and pepper
✻1 small French baguette
✻2-4 large handfuls of grated cheddar
Fry the onions in a heavy based pan on a medium heat in the butter, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar for 10-15 minutes until soft. Once all of the moisture has evaporated continue to fry until the onions start to brown and caramelise.
After 20 minutes in total of cooking and when the onions have started to brown, stir in the flour and mix well until coated. Pour in the cider and allow to bubble away, stirring constantly. Add the stock, fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper and cover the pan. Allow to cook for 45 minutes.
Slice the French baguette into thick slices and toast either in your toaster or under the grill. Top with lots of grated cheddar and grill until golden brown.
To assemble, ladle the soup into mugs half way, then add a layer of cheese. Top with more hot soup and finish with cheesy croutons, more cheddar and a fresh sprig of thyme. Enjoy immediately.
Recipe by Nicola Millbank AKA Milly Cookbook. Milly’s debut book, Milly’s Real Food will be published by Harper Collins in hardback, priced at £20 and released on 4 May 2017.