THERE are few things more comforting than making home-made soup.

French onion soup is a favourite preference of mine this time of year, slowly cooked in best butter, with the sweetness of caramelised onions that turn mellow in a broth laced with white wine.

And then of course, let’s definitely not forget the whole thing being finished off with crunchy, baked croutons made from French bread and melted Cheddar cheese soaking up the soup.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to a fantastic, simple, wholesome autumn/winter fuel soup which will guarantee to warm up any cockles. It’s surely one to sharpen the knife for!

The essential component to any good French onion soup is the stock. My preference is to use a dry white wine, but alcohol can be skipped if you prefer and replaced with the equivalent amount of good stock, which was traditionally saved from the Sunday roast.

Caramelising the onions slowly is the most intensive part of the process and will require stirring the onions every five minutes or so, to stop them burning; the trick here is to have the heat set on the lowest possible setting.

I also recommend using white Spanish onions over the red ones, because red onions tend to lack sugar and easily mush down, and once cooked the flavours all but disappear.

White onions will give the soup a deep, divine flavour, which imparts into the stock adding a rich dark colour through a chemical process that happens after a long cooking time.

So don't be tempted to hurry the onions – they're worth the time. This is the secret to good onion soup, to get the full sweet promise out of them.

Butter is ideal to use for browning, and also helps to enrich the final flavour, but feel free to use good olive oil if you wish.

This bistro, retro, partygoers’ 70s classic soup, once made, can be stored in a Tupperware container in the fridge for a few days which gives the soup an opportunity to develop some extra body and wonderful flavours.

Other serving recommendations, and also trending in the bread world, is sourdough bread which is defiantly worth a dunk. It is made with a long fermentation using only natural-occurring yeast, which must be a good thing these days.

The cheese, a good English mature Cheddar, will do the trick and will not disappoint when sprinkled on top of the bread, which is then grilled to perfection.

Once cooked and bubbling this soup will guaranteed a second bowlful, it’s really that good, especially now the weather is turning colder and we are looking for wholesome, filling, cheap meals to make for the family. It can be served as a meal on its own or as a starter.

So cut out this recipe and stick it on the fridge door to remind you of what you might be missing out on!

• For Baker Mike’s previous recipes visit, click on What’s On then Food & Drink.