Banging apple, cider and onion soup

Forget your fancy French onion soup – this’ll stick to your ribs, we promise you.

Banging apple, cider and onion soup


10 as a starter or 6 for lunch
Prep time
less then 30 minutes
Cooking time
30 minutes to 1 hour


For the soup

  • 75g / 2oz butter
  • 1kg / 2lb onions, sliced
  • 2 large leeks, washed and sliced
  • 2 eating apples, peeled, core removed, sliced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 150ml / 5fl oz cider
  • 1 litre / 1.5 pint hot vegetable stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 200g / 7oz Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • salt and ground white pepper
  • nutmeg, grated, to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy based casserole over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the onions, leeks and apples and fry for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly, until they have softened.

  2. Add the potatoes and cider, and bring the mixture to the boil. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, until the volume of liquid has reduced slightly.

  3. Add the stock, bay leaves and thyme and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the casserole with a lid and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are cooked through. Remove the thyme and bay leaf with a slotted spoon and discard.

  4. Blend half of the soup in a food processor until smooth. Return the blended soup to the chunky soup mixture and stir well over a gentle heat until heated through. If you want a slightly thinner soup, add a bit more hot vegetable stock until the soup has the desired consistency.

  5. To serve, divide the soup between six bowls and sprinkle a handful of the Gruyere cheese and a pinch of chives into each. Season, to taste, with salt and ground white pepper. Garnish each bowl with a pinch of grated nutmeg.