Make This: Maison Selby's French Onion Soup

Forget boring winter soups – this French onion hug-in-a-bowl from O&Bs latest spot will make you forget all about the main course. 

Serves 8

Preparation time 30 minutes

Cooking time 6-8 hours

As the fall forges ahead and winter nights start to draw in, it's time to start planning your dinner party menu. Perfect for the occasion is Maison Selby's French-inspired menu, with its classy Gallic grub and cozy meals that deserve to be eaten from inside a turtleneck sweater. 

One of executive chef John Horne's dishes that really stood out is the French onion soup, made with a generous portion of gruyere and a rich and delicious broth that takes several hours to prepare. 

Crack open a bottle of wine, put on some music and get set on a recipe that is sure to knock your guest's socks off. Then sit back and watch as your dining companions take their first spoonful and applaud that cheese pull.


  • 1½ lbs butter
  • 20 large onions, peeled, cored and thinly sliced with the grain
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup port
  • 1 cup Cognac or brandy
  • 1 sachet of thyme, rosemary, black peppercorns and bay leaves 
  • 6L dark chicken stock
  • ½ cup demi-glaze

    For garnish:

  • toasted slices of croissant
  • finely shredded Gruyère
  • thyme or parsley leaves


1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt butter over medium heat.
2. Add onions, stir and season generously with salt and pepper.
3. Lower heat and continue cooking, stirring regularly, until the onions completely caramelize—about four to six hours.
4. When the onions have caramelized, stir in the tomato paste and cook for at least 30 more minutes.
5. Pour in the wine, port, and Cognac or brandy, and toss in the sachet. Reduce mixture to one third.
6. Add the stock and demi-glaze, and allow to simmer for one hour.
7. Remove from heat, allow to cool and chill overnight.
8. To serve, reheat soup gently, add a splash of brandy, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve in oven-proof bowls. Top each serving with toasted croissant slices and Gruyère. Place under broiler until cheese is melted and browned. Top with and fresh thyme or parsley and serve.