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Some recipes for classic French onion soup go on and on and that is NOT the way it should be—it should not weigh heavily on you—that is NOT the French way. But what could be more delicious in the depths of winter than this fabulous comfort food. Chicken soup? I say chicken schmicken! Get over yourself—try this.

Some things to remember—don’t rush it and use the best beef stock you can afford. I couldn’t be bothered to make one—buy it –but do search it out—cubes will not do.

If it all seems too much for you , get to Constantia Glen where they are serving their version of this great soup as well as Austrian goulash ,and  superb roast cauliflower soup accompanied by their magnificent Constantia Glen 3 –a delicious Bordeaux style blend of Merlot , Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon—heaven on earth.

Constantia Glen French Onion soup


6 large red sliced onions

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups beef stock

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 tbsp. tarragon dried

8 slices (1-inch thick) French bread or baguette toasted

1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere


Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and toss to coat with the olive oil.

Cook the onions, stirring often, until they have softened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t rush—           have some wine

Increase the heat to medium high. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter and cook, stirring often, until the onions start to brown, about 15 more minutes

Sprinkle with sugar (to help with the caramelization) and 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook until the onions are well browned, about 10 to 15 more minutes. Watch for burning.

Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more.

Add the wine and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom and sides of the pot, deglazing the pot as you go.

Add the stock and tarragon. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for about 40minutes.

Taste for seasoning.

Serve in bowls with a slice of toast topped with cheese and the best red wine you have– salut and bon appetit!

Phone 021 795 6100