Onions are full of nutritional value and, when baked in an oven, turn deliciously sweet. This onion soup recipe is both yummy and full of goodness.
Baking has other advantages. Although it takes longer than pan frying, it requires significantly less attention. Best of all, it eliminates the need to chop raw onion. A no tears onion soup recipe!
The soup is completed by a layer of cheese that melts down into the soup. A delicious combination of flavours. Enjoy with fresh buttered bread.
Watch How To Make Onion Soup
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Onions make a yummy sweet soup and, like garlic soup, it is said to be good for your body. The powerful properties of onion are obvious to anyone chopping them, but there are no tears with this recipe. Baking the onions in their skin avoids the need to chop them raw. So no tearful moments! Given the number of onions needed, it is a big advantage!
To really bring out the flavour, I like to melt a hard cheese into the soup just before serving. Another example of the classic cheese and onion combination.
Onions are most easily grown from sets, which are immature or baby onions. These are pushed into the ground in late autumn, to overwinter for an early summer crop, or sown early spring for a mid summer crop.
Aside from weeding, onions require very little care, and are harvested when the leaves go golden and the stems fall to the ground.
If left to dry out on warm summer days, many varieties of onion will store for many months through late autumn and into winter.
Start by washing away any dirt that may remain on the onions, and discard any loose outer leaves. However, keep some outer leaves on. This is important to keep the moisture in.
Take a big dish with a lid, and measure a length of baking paper large enough to cover its base.
Scrunching the paper makes it easier to lay flat, and once the paper is in place, add the onions to the dish and cover, before moving to the oven.
Whilst the onions are cooking, prepare the garlic in the same way as the onion. Ensure that the bulb is clean, and remove any remaining roots and loose outer leaves.
After 45 minutes, which is halfway through the cooking time, remove the onions from the oven so that you can add the garlic bulb to the dish. Reset the timer to 45 minutes and move the dish back to the oven.
In the remaining baking time, take a moment to prepare the stock. For this soup I recommend two stock cubes to boost the flavour. Vegetable or beef stock cubes work well. Give the stock a good stir.
At the end of the cooking time the onions and garlic will look very similar to before cooking, but their insides will be lovely and soft, and most importantly for the soup, caramelised into delicious sweet tasting flesh.
After removing the onions and garlic from the dish, any remaining cooking juices can be combined into the stock.
Prepare the onions by removing the insides from the outer skin. It is easy to tell the difference. The insides of the onion will be very soft and easy to cut, whilst the outside skin looks much less juicy and will be very hard to tear. Discard the outside skin.
Once you have removed the insides from all the onions, chop these up roughly. There is no need for precision, as the soup will be blended before serving. What is great is that the cooked onions do not release any substances that can bring tears to your eyes.
The garlic is very easy to prepare. Simply take the bulb between your fingers, and give it a good squeeze. The flesh of the garlic will ooze out through the skin, looking very similar to garlic puree.
Now it is time to combine all the ingredients. Pour the stock into a saucepan, carefully add the onion to avoid splashes, followed by the garlic, and give the mixture a quick stir to separate any large lumps.
Next, blend the soup with a hand held blender. Check for any lumps, and give the soup a further blend until it is smooth.
The soup can be made in advance, stored in the fridge for a day or so, and reheated before serving.
Without additional ingredients, onion soup can be sweet and light, or if said another way, a little watery. This is where cheese makes a big difference. I like to use a really strong hard cheese, any will do, just choose what looks good from your local shop. The cheese adds richness, texture, and saltiness, all of which helps bring out the flavour of the onion.
Serve the soup into bowls, and sprinkle a generous layer of grated cheese over the top. The cheese melts down into the soup, making every spoonful a pleasure to eat.
The soup is delicious served with buttered fresh bread.