No tears Soupe à l’oignon

As I’m listening to “Here comes the night” by David Bowie I have a sudden longing for the warm and comforting sweetness of a French onion Soup. I have a rule though: when you are in a funk, it’s got to be a “No Tears” recipe!  So here you go – one of my absolute favorite winter dish made without a tear. The trick: by cooking the halved onions in the hot oven, you avoid the inconsolable look that come from peeling & slicing; and by roasting them slowly you save time standing in front of the stove!

There will be no crying in my Kitchen!  So there you go: The “No Tears” French Onion Soup!

onion soup11

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 5 large onions – as a rule of thumb Count approximately 1 Large onion per person and then 1 more!
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic with the peel on
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon brown syrup
  • 25 cl of white wine – or half a can of Beer 
  • 650ml (vegetable) stock
  • salt& pepper,
  •  a few old slices of peasant bread 
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 100 g grated cheese – type Cheddar 



  • Preheat the oven to 200C  Grill,  Peel the Onions and cut them lengthwise, 2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled  Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper – add some thyme, or rosemary
  • Leave in the oven until well roasted & turn only once  (In my case it was about 30 minutes on 1 side – 10 minutes on the other)  – Don’t touch the onions too much!
  • Once beautifully caramelized, simply cut them straight on the oven rack

onion soup8

  • Throw the sliced cooked onions into a deep pan with the butter, squeeze out the flesh of the roasted garlic from the peel, and add the flour – cook while stirring for about 1 min, then add the beer first, then the stock, the syrup & the mustard. Bring to a boil & let simmer for about 10 minutes – Check the seasoning and adjust with more sock if too thick

To serve: If you have some day old bread, place it in the bottom of a bowl, and pour the  soup on top, add the grated cheese and put under the oven’s grill until the cheese is bubbling. You can offer it as a main with peasant bread , rubbed with some garlic and lightly grilled – and a platter of cheese. It’s also perfect as a starter.

Enjoy while listening to good music – In my case tonight it will be “Life on Mars” from Bowie!

onions 3
Onions in copper pot

Soupe à l’oignon* is without contest one of the most authentically French food you can eat. So much flavor for such a  humble ingredient, and you don’t even need to travel far to get the full experience! This understated dish summarizes everything I love about Food making! Simple ingredients, limited mastery required and an unlimited wave of flavor that gets you wondering how such a common kitchen staple as the onion can still surprise you so much! As you can tell, I’m pretty obsessed with them- to the point I use them as decoration or even as visual inspiration!

onions inspiration
Onions in Copper Pot – Nature Morte
* pronounced “Soop’aloneeon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s