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French Onion And Thyme Soup Under Pastry

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French Onion And Thyme Soup Under Pastry

This soup was all the rage as I grew up in the Seventies when French regional cooking had a great influence on our cuisine. Rather than serving it with the traditional cheese-topped crouton, I've hidden its delicate aroma under a crispy puff pastry lid to add an element of surprise.


  • 8 large onions, peeled and finely sliced in rings
  • 75 grams butter, preferably unsalted
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1½ tblsps flour
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tblsp chopped fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to season


  • 400 packet puff pastry, defrosted
  • milk to glaze


  1. In a large saucepan cook the onions in the butter over a moderate heat for about 15-20 minutes until they are well browned. Add the garlic and cook a further 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.
  2. Sprinkle over the flour and stir well to mix in.
  3. Gradually blend in the beef stock, stirring constantly. Add the pepper and simmer the soup for 15 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle in the thyme and then check the seasoning. At this point the soup can be enjoyed or can be topped with pastry.
  5. Ladle the soup into 8 deep soup bowls. On a floured surface roll the pastry out and cut 8 circles each large (not wide) enough to cover the top of a soup bowl with about 2cm over-hang. Re-roll the pastry as required. Brush the 2cm overhang with water and press this edge firmly onto the outside edge of these. Cover all bowls.
  6. Brush with milk to glaze and decorate with any trimmings if wished.
  7. Place the soup bowls on a baking tray and bake at 230°C for 15 minutes until the pastry is well risen and golden. Allow plenty of head-room in the oven for the puff pastry to rise. Serve immediately.

Cooks Tips

- When re-rolling puff pastry, arrange the leftover pieces on top of each other to re-roll. Do not knead back to a ball as the pastry, having lost its layers, will shrink and toughen, as well as not rise.

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