My Med Cruise French Onion Soup

Back in 1999 I took Helen on a cruise around the Mediterranean. I was 19 and Helen was 17, hardly a holiday of choice for a couple of teenagers. You see I won the holiday with my season ticket at Huddersfield Town at the last game of the season. It did involve me going onto the pitch at half-time and picking aplayers shirt off the pitch; I went with number 3 (Tom Cowan’s shirt) and that was the number that won it.

On this cruise there was food 24 hours a day and we especially enjoyed the formal meals in the restaurant and on one particular night the soup course was French onion soup. It may be 20 years ago but I can still remember it to this day – and so can Helen. IT is this soup I have tried to recreate many times, never quite matching that on the Ms Sunbird but coming very close. So Here is my version…


This make 6 good sized portions for a family.

  • 50g butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (I suppose it should be olive oil but this is my take)
  • 6 large white onions (about 1kg), halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1.3l strong beef or vegetable stock (proper French onion soups uses beef, I use vegetable)
How to make it
  1. In a large, heave-based pan melth the butter over a medium heat
  2. Add the onions, stir, stick a lid on the pand and fry for 10 mins until they are soft.
  3. Sprinkle in the sugar and cook for 20 mins more, stirring frequently, until caramelised. Careful not to burn them.
  4. Add the garlic, sprinkle in the flour and stir well.
  5. Increase the heap, keep stirring and gradually add the wine then the hot stock.
  6. Put the lid back on and simmer for 15-20 mins.
  7. Serve with some crusty French bread, buttered of course.
The only digitised photo I have of the cruise – sunset over Capri

I hope you enjoy making this simple, classic soup as it is absolutely delicious. I’m sure not French onion soup will live up to that which we enjoyed on the cruise because maybe the romance of being on a acruise adds a lot to the taste.

Thanks for erading.

P.S. The photo of the soup at the top was a lucky photo. I made this and in the rush to get all six of us sat down for a quick lunch while Helen was home for her break I forgot to take a photo for the blog. Thankfully there was a 7th portion in the pan ready to use!

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