The GP Advent Calendar of Cuisine – Bluesman’s Onion Soup

Not really an Advent dish but a robust simple dish suitable for hangovers.

You will need:

  • Some onions
  • Some garlic
  • Some olive oil
  • Some water
  • Some beef stock
  • Some bread
  • Some cheese
  • Some cider
  • Some salt
  • Some pepper

You may also like:

  • Some brandy
  • Some bucket of garni
  • Some sugar


Slice the onions into whatever pleases you; I cut them long ways to produce onion pieces about 2-4 inches long. Fry (or if middle class, sauté) the onions in the olive oil. Do enough for your soup. I generally produce a gallon at a time and use a couple of nets of the larger onions (about 8-10). You may need to do this in more than one batch. Fry until you are happy (it’s your soup). Me? I fry them until they are a dark golden brown (the caramelising process can be bump started with a little sugar. Add the chopped garlic about 5-10 minutes before finishing up the frying. On a social note, most of your rellies will avoid the kitchen allowing some well-deserved peace and fucking quiet.

Transfer the mix to a large stock pot and add the beef stock and water; again, I make this up to about half a gallon. How much stock? It’s your soup FFS. Add sufficient to provide flavour and colour without turning it into gravy. I actually use those jelly things and about 2 or 3 (It’s a mood thing, and I’m lazy). The aim now is to simmer the onion/garlic until they are as limp as a Tim Farron policy. This bit can take an hour or two. You can add the bucket of garni if you wish. Remain in the kitchen to both stir occasionally and to drink in peace.

Add the cider. Which cider? I use the bargain basement own brand big bottles (and I use it all – a gallon remember) and return to simmer. You can please yourself. Add seasoning as required.

To serve cut up some chunks of bread (toast if you like I don’t care) and place in the receptacle of your choice. Cover with cheese (I use a sharp cheddar) and ladle the soup over the top. At this point you can add a splash of cheap brandy (I do) or proper cider. For real exoticism try calvados – yummy.

Job done.

Remember if the quantities and/or instructions are somewhat vague – I am not your fucking mother!