Classic dish is quick, easy and an ideal winter warmer

Onion and thyme soup with Camembert
Onion and thyme soup with Camembert
Diana Henry

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This week we will show you a classic soup recipe, but we’re going to add some world famous French cheese – Camembert.

There are numerous recipes to make the perfect onion soup, but we have a simple, quick and easy version which is a always great winter warmer for everyone.

But this recipe can be made all year round if you like, especially as supermarkets always stock onions.

We’ve added some thyme which brings a wonderful fragrance to the soup.

Onion soups have been popular as far back as the Roman times. Throughout history it’s been seen as food for people with slightly less money as onions are plentiful and easy to grow.

A classic French recipe originated in the 18th century and is made from beef broth and caramelized onions. It’s then finished with Gruyère croutons.

We currently have a version of onion soup on our menu as a pre-starter. We serve it with smoked apple and chive butter.

It’s very versatile and with a couple of other ingredients, it can be a lovely accompaniment for fish and meat dishes.

But what we’re really excited about is Christmas – it’s not far away now!

December looks like it’s going to be a great month and our festive menu is nearly ready for the customers.

No turkey will be on it I’m afraid, but there’s a definite nod to the nation’s favourite holiday of Christmas.

Kevin Bingham is the chef patron of Restaurant 27 at Southsea. Call (023) 9287 6272.

Onion and thyme soup with Camembert (serves six)


Medium saucepan

Wooden spoon/spatula

Chopping board

Sharp knife

Hand blender



Serving bowls



Four to six medium onions

One clove of garlic

Generous sprig of thyme

2oz butter


Olive oil

Half a pint of cream

One litre of vegetable or chicken stock

One cooking apple (peeled, cored and sliced)

Camembert of choice (We’ve used a Calvados Camembert)


1. Peel and thinly slice the onions and garlic.

2. Place the saucepan over a medium heat and add a good splash of olive oil and butter.

3. Introduce the sliced onion, garlic, apple and thyme and season. Cook until caramelised, so approximately 10 minutes.

4. When golden in colour, add the stock and cream. Reduce the mixture by a third.

5. Remove the thyme stalks and blend the mixture with a hand blender. Pass through a sieve and taste for seasoning. For a fuller flavour or a thicker consistency, cook for a further five minutes if required.

6. To serve, make sure soup is piping hot. Ladle it into bowls and serve with a nice wedge of Camembert and a drizzle of olive oil.