(serves 4-6)

1,8 kg  onions, finely sliced (use sweet brown onions)

125 g   butter

125 ml sherry

1          bay leaf

30 ml   chopped thyme (stalks removed)

2 liters good quality chicken stock

5 ml     fish sauce

5 ml     lemon juice

            salt and black pepper to taste

6          slices toasted ciabatta bread

1          garlic clove

250 g   Gruyere cheese, grated

            chopped thyme for serving


  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onions. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and cook for about an hour – onions must be completely caramelised.  Add a bit of water if needed – to prevent onions from burning.
  • Add the sherry and cook for a few minutes then add the bay leaf, thyme and the chicken stock.
  • Simmer for about 25 minutes then remove the bay leaf.
  • Add the fish sauce and the lemon juice, taste and season with salt and pepper
  • Rub the garlic clove on the toasted ciabatta (both sides of the bread)
  • Spoon the hot soup into 4 bowls, top with a slice of ciabatta and sprinkle over a generous portion of grated cheese. Spoon over another ladle of the soup and top with more cheddar cheese
  • Place under the grill until the cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven and garnish with chopped thyme. Serve immediately
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