Gourmet Holidays
Cookery Courses
Gourmet Vacations
Gourmet Courses
Advanced course
Advanced course
Cooking course
Our chefs
Client testimonials
Gourmet vacation
Loire culture
Booking Information
Contact Us
Cookery Holidays
Walnut Grove editorials


"French chefs beware! Maynard & Benedict are here! The food was exceptional, the presentation was brilliant and the teaching exceeded my expectations/ Had a really wonderful time. Hope to see you in Montana in 2010."

Andrea Walsh,

Walnut Grove Recipes

French Onion Soup with a Goats Cheese Croute

French Onion Soup

Serves 4 to 6 portions

  • 10 onions
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 bunches of thyme
  • 1 stick rosemary
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • ½ litre chicken stock
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 4 slices baguette
  • goats cheese
  • 25g butter
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • black pepper
  • 100g smoked bacon
  • 200ml red wine


1. Slice onions finely and evenly, heat a large heavy based saucepan until hot, add oil and onions and sugar, cook for a couple of minutes, add sliced bacon lardons (matchsticks), and sauté until golden brown and caramelized. Peel & finely slice garlic cloves.

2. Add butter, thyme (removed from the stalk) and garlic, and mix into onions and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.

3. De-glaze the pan with the red wine, bring to the boil and reduce half. Add the chicken & beef stock, bring back to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

4. Season with salt & pepper, sometimes if your stock is not very strong, you can add a little chicken bouillon cube to bring up the flavour.

5. For the goats cheese croute, take the slices of baguette (around 2cm thick) fry in a frying pan with a little butter on both sides until golden brown. Remove from the pan, and generously top with your favorite goats cheese, and grill until bubbling and coloured.

6. Carefully ladle soup into warm bowls, place the croute on top, and enjoy!

Cookery courses in France

Luxury cooking vacation

Gourmet cuisine
Cooking holidays for singles
Culinary holidays in France

Serving Suggestions

This is good either as a starter or served as a larger portion makes a lovely winter lunch.

Advanced preparation

This soup can be made a couple of days in advance, in fact it improves after a day or so because the flavours intensify. The goats cheese croute needs to be made just before you want to serve it.

Walnut Grove cookery courses - a dream vacation - in wonderful surroundings

Experience the reality of gourmet cooking yourself. There is only one way to learn and that is to do it! Top chefs, luxury accommodation, set in France - the home of gourmet cuisine; what more could you ask for?

Your hosts and tutors are acclaimed chefs Maynard Harvey and Benedict Haines, two modern chefs who use the freshest ingredients with an emphasis on distinct flavours and clean, meticulous presentation. Their passion and enthusiasm for cooking will stimulate your own love of food, and their expertise will help you gain confidence and perfect your technique in the kitchen.

To find out more about our holidays, courses, accommodation and location deep in the heart of the 'real' French countryside, please look around our site. For further information, contact us.