Will feed a very hungry family


4 medium white Spanish onions, cut in half and sliced into thin slices

50g/2oz butter

1tbs plain flour

200ml dry white wine, boiled for 30 seconds to remove the alcohol

1.5 litres boiling water

2 pinches of sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

1tsp sugar, optional

1 baguette or sourdough loaf, cut into thick slices

150g/5oz mature English Cheddar cheese, grated


1. To caramelise the onions, melt the butter on a high heat, in a non-stick sauce pan, without letting it brown.

2. Add the prepared onions and soften for five minutes stirring frequently. Season well with salt and pepper.

3. Continue cooking the onions for 20 minutes or longer on the lowest setting to achieve an even, rich brown caramel colour to your liking, but don't forget to stir every five minutes to prevent burning.

4. To toast the flour, preheat the oven 200c/gas 6.

5. Sprinkle the flour on a baking tray and cook in the oven for eight to 10 minutes until it is very light coloured.

6. Stir the flour into the caramelised onions and mix thoroughly.

7. To finish the soup, gradually stir in the boiled white wine and one third of the boiling water with the onions.

8. Whisk well and add the remaining boiling water.

9. Bring to the boil, skim off any impurities from the surface and simmer for 15 minutes.

10. Taste and correct the seasoning, adding the sugar if required.

11. To make the croutons, arrange the baguette or sourdough slices on a baking tray and sprinkle the cheese on top of them.

12. Place under the grill for three to four minutes to melt and slightly brown the cheese.

13. Serve the soup in big bowls with the croutons on top.