Wednesday 26 June 2019

How to make Classic French Onion Soup, according to multi-starred Michelin chef Jean-Christophe Novelli


French Onion soup
French Onion soup

Multi-starred Michelin chef Jean-Christophe Novelli shares some of his favourite recipes to celebrate the opening of his new Irish restaurant at Belfast's City Quays, where the menu includes classic French dishes given an Irish twist by delicious local produce.

Classic French Onion Soup

French Onion soup


150g unsalted butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1kg red onions, thinly sliced

1 sprig fresh thyme, stalks removed

2 bay leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tsp caster sugar

750ml dry white wine

350ml strong beef stock, hot

1 baguette

1 garlic clove, peeled

180g Gruyère cheese, sliced

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch paprika

1 tbsp lemon juice



1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan with the oil and gently cook the onions for about 6-8 minutes or until softened.

2. Add the herbs and seasoning, sprinkle over the sugar and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the onions are melting and glossy.

3. Pour in the wine and raise the heat. Bring back to the boil and simmer to reduce for 10 minutes.

4. Add the hot stock, bring back to the boil and simmer for 25 minutes.

5. When you are ready to serve the soup, preheat the grill. Slice the baguette diagonally and dry-fry in a heavy-based pan without oil or butter. While it is toasting, rub a clove of garlic on the bottom of the pan to infuse the bread.

6. When the baguette pieces are golden brown, top with the sliced cheese, grind over the pepper, sprinkle with the paprika, and grill for 2-3 minutes (or microwave for 10 seconds) until the cheese is bubbling.

7. Just before serving the soup, add the lemon juice and stir.

8. Ladle into hot bowls and top with the cheesy croûtons. Serve immediately.

The Novelli at City Quays dish will see a twist on the classic French Onion soup recipe, with a pastry lid (pictured above).

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