I call it a French onion soup with a Tuscan twist - because it has cured ham in it - and apparently that is a Tuscan touch to a traditional French recipe.
So here is the recipe and my economical cooking method.
French Onion Soup with a Tuscan twist
4 large white or yellow onions
1 red onion
2 rashers of pancetta cut into lardons
2 litres of chicken stock
1 large baking potato
3 tablespoons of dried parsley
Use a heavy bottomed, cast iron pan with a lid if you have one.
Chop the onions thinly, then fry in a tablespoon of olive oil, with some generous twists of pepper and the lardons.
This is not a lot of oil, but the fat from the lardons will help the frying, when it starts to dry out in the saucepan, add a bit of water rather than any more oil, cover and leave the onions to sweat for a couple of minutes until they are starting to become translucent and soft.
Add the stock and bring to the boil - taste and season if you need to, but the pancetta is quite salty so go carefully if adding more salt.
Cut the potato into small cubes, less than a centimetre, without peeling, then add to the soup and just bring it briefly back to the boil.
Then turn off the heat and cover the saucepan with its lid - then cover again with a layer of aluminium paper.
Leave to stew in its own heat while you go off and do something more interesting - I went for a 5km walk with the dog and came back starving.
To serve, just heat up - the small cubes of potato will have cooked in the residual heat in the pan and their starchiness will thicken the soup, throw in the parsley, stir through and munch a bowlful with some home baked bread.