Caramelised onion & barley soup with cheese croutons

Nutty and nutritious barley adds real substance to this twist on classic French onion soup

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:35 mins
  • Serves 2
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 434
  • fat 15g
  • saturates 5g
  • carbs 59g
  • sugars 13g
  • fibre 6g
  • protein 15g
  • salt 1.4g


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 thyme sprigs, chopped
  • good pinch sugar
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 60g barley
  • 60g cavolo nero or kale, thick stalks discarded and leaves sliced
  • 4 slices baguette, toasted
  • 4 tbsp grated Gruyère cheese


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, then add the onions, garlic, thyme, sugar and a good pinch of salt. Cook on a medium-low heat for 15-20 mins or until golden coloured. Add the stock and simmer for a further 10 mins.

  2. In a separate large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the barley for 15 mins, adding the cavolo nero or kale for the final 3 mins of cooking. Drain and rinse under cold water, then add to the soup and warm through.

  3. Heat the grill. Top the toasted bread with cheese and place under the grill until it’s bubbly and melted. Serve in 2 large bowls with the cheesy croutons on top.

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