Spinach and onion soup with tomato crostini

A colourful vegetarian version of classic French onion soup, this makes a filling lunch or light dinner. The secret of the rich flavour lies in frying the onions very slowly until they are well browned, caramelised and sweetly flavoured.

Spinach and onion soup with tomato crostini


  • 1½ tablespoons (30 g) butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 g large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable stock, preferably homemade rich
  • 2 cups (120 g) chopped broccoli
  • 2½ cups (125 g) English spinach leaves, torn
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 8 thick slices of baguette
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
  • ⅓ cup (35 g) freshly grated parmesan


  1. Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the onions and fry gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and pale golden.
  3. Stir in the sugar and garlic, then continue to fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until the onions are browned and caramelised.
  4. Stir in the stock and a little seasoning, and bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Add the broccoli and simmer for a further 3 minutes.
  7. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the spinach, then cover and leave to stand while making the tomato crostini.
  8. Preheat the grill to high, and lightly toast the slices of bread on both sides.
  9. Rub one side of each slice with the cut clove of garlic and spread lightly with tomato paste.
  10. Add 2 tomato wedges to each slice, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the parmesan over the top.
  11. Grill for about 2 minutes or until the cheese melts.
  12. While the crostini are grilling, reheat the soup, if necessary.
  13. Ladle into 4 warm bowls.
  14. Float 2 tomato crostini in each bowl of soup and serve immediately.

Serves 4
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: about 1 hour


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