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Ultimate french onion soup recipe

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Adjust Servings:
4 pounds Onion , halved and sliced ¼-inch-thick through root end
3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter , cut into 3 pieces
Salt and pepper
2¾ cups Water , plus extra as needed
½ cup Dry Sherry
4 cups Chicken broth
2 cups Beef Broth
6 sprigs fresh Thyme , tied together with kitchen twine
1 Bay Leaf
Cheese croutons
1 (12-inch) Baguette , sliced ½ inch thick
8 ounces Gruyere Cheese , shredded (2 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Parsley

Ultimate french onion soup recipe

  • 5 hours
  • Serves 6
  • Medium


  • Soup

  • Cheese croutons



There is no denying the appeal of a great bowl of French onion soup, with its rich broth, caramelized onions, and nutty Gruyèretopped bread. For a rich soup, we caramelized the onions a full 2½ hours in the oven and then deglazed the pot several times with water, before adding a combination of chicken broth, beef broth, and more water. For the classic crouton topping, we warded off sogginess by toasting the bread before floating it in the soup, and we sprinkled the toasts with a modest amount of nutty Gruyère so that its flavor wouldn’t overwhelm the soup. Sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, will make the soup overly sweet. Use broiler-safe crocks and keep the rim of the bowls 4 to 5 inches from the broiler element to obtain a proper gratinée of melted, bubbly cheese. If using ordinary soup bowls, sprinkle the toasted bread slices with Gruyère and return them to the broiler on the baking sheet until the cheese melts, then float them on top of the soup.



For the soup Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Generously spray inside of Dutch oven with vegetable oil spray. Add onions, butter, and 1 teaspoon salt, cover, and bake until onions wilt slightly and look moist, about 1 hour.


Stir onions thoroughly, scraping bottom and sides of pot. Partially cover pot and continue to cook in oven until onions are very soft and golden brown, 1½ to 1¾ hours longer, stirring onions thoroughly after 1 hour.


Carefully remove pot from oven (pot will be hot) and place over medium high heat. Being careful of hot pot, continue to cook onions, stirring and scraping pot often, until liquid evaporates, onions brown, and bottom of pot is coated with dark crust, 20 to 25 minutes. (If onions begin to brown too quickly, reduce heat to medium. Also, be sure to scrape any browned bits that collect on spoon back into onions.)


Stir in ¼ cup water, thoroughly scraping up browned crust. Continue to cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes. Repeat deglazing 2 or 3 more times, until onions are very dark brown.


Stir in sherry and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, beef broth, 2 cups more water, thyme bundle, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon salt, scraping up any remaining browned bits. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Discard thyme bundle and bay leaf.


For the Cheese Croutons

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Lay baguette slices on rimmed baking sheet and bake until dry, crisp, and lightly golden, about 10 minutes, flipping slices over halfway through baking.


Position oven rack 8 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set individual broiler-safe crocks on baking sheet. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste and fill each crock with about 1½ cups soup. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices (do not overlap slices) and sprinkle evenly with Gruyère. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly around edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.


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