How to Make Onion Soup

Don't be intimidated by how to make onion soup--the process is surprisingly straightforward! It's actually one of the simpler French soups, with a big payoff of complex, salty-sweet flavor. Onion, of course, is the star, and sweeter varieties work best. But even if you only have regular yellow onions on hand, those will do fine, because as they cook down they'll begin to caramelize, bringing out the vegetable's inherent sweetness. For peak caramelization, make sure there is enough fat in the pan (in this case, butter) so the onions don't dry out, and keep the heat relatively low to prevent them from burning. Sherry or a dry white wine is the typical liquid used when making onion soup. When the liquid is added to the hot pan, it helps deglaze the pan, releasing all the brown bits that have formed on the bottom which add more flavor to the soup. Beef broth and Worcestershire sauce contribute to the overall richness. Croutons and cheese are the signature toppings for onion soup, often made with sliced French bread and Gruyere (similar to Swiss cheese). Both are placed under the broiler just before serving.
-Hey, it's Chef Lovely here. And, there's nothing I love more than comfort foods. So today, we're going to make one of my favorites, the French Onion Soup. So, here are the ingredients. 1/4 cup of butter; 2-1/2 cups of thinly sliced onions (that's about two large onions); 2 (14 ounce) cans of beef broth; 1/4 cup of dried sherry or dry white wine (today, well use dry white wine); 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce; 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper; 4 (1/2-inch) slices of French bread, toasted; 2/3 cups of shredded Swiss, Gruyere or hors d'oeuvre cheese (and today, we're going to use Swiss cheese). Swiss cheese because that's one of my favorites. So, first things first, I'm going to heat my saucepan here. We're going to do like a medium-high heat and we are going to get our butter melting. That's the first thing that I want you guys to do. So, I'm going to take my butter here. Got to pop that in to the bottom of my pan and we're going to get this nice and melted, okay? So, as this is melting, we are going to talk a little bit about the rest of our ingredients. So, we're going to add in our onions. Here is a Chef Lovely Tip. Cut off the front end of the onion and I want you to cut off the root end of the onion. Then, after that, all you have to do is cut in half and make your slices. It's really that easy. You won't cry. You won't tear up and all of those different things. So, that's definitely a Chef Lovely Tip to help make this experience much more fun and enjoyable for you. So, now that my butter melting, I'm going to go ahead and drop in my onions. These don't have to be perfect cuts, okay? This is not garnishing anything but you do want them to be consistent in size so that they caramelize and they cook at the same time which is very important. Okay, so I'm going to give this a toss. Make sure that it's coated in all of that delicious butter that we have at the bottom of our pan. And what we're going to do, it's easy. We're going to put the lid on top and we're going to check it when it's going to cook for about 13-15 minutes, okay? So, occasionally, I want you to come in. I want you to give it a stir. Look at it. Put the lid back on. And in about 13-15 minutes, we're going to move on to the next step of our recipe. So, I'm going to stay here and keep on cooking. And, when we come back, I'm going to show you how we're going to wrap up this French Onion Soup. Okay, so as you can see, I've taken off my lid. It's been about 15 minutes and my onions are starting to get nice beautiful caramelize color. So, after that, I allowed it to cook for about 10 more minutes so I can get a really deep caramelize color and let all those natural sugars come out, okay? So now, we're going to go in with our white wine. Our Worcestershire sauce goes in next. And then, we're going to add in the bulk of our French Onion Soup here which is our beef broth. So, don't skimp out here. You really want a nice flavorful beef broth because that's all the basis pretty much of our flavor after the onions, of course. So, we're going to give this a really good stir. We want to incorporate all of those flavors. And, we're going to continue to let this cook so all the flavors can come together. The onionly caramelized flavors are going to bloom in the beef broth and this is going to be absolutely delicious. So, I'm going to let that do it stand. So, let's talk about our topping. Our topping is going to be some of our French bread that you have. So, we're going to get a sheet pan. We're going to cover that with some foil because I love easy clean up and we're going to lay it on our sheet pan our French bread here. And then, we're going to put it underneath a broiler for about 2 or 3 minutes that it's lightly toasted. Then, we're going to take it out. We're going to sprinkle it with cheese. Turn the pan around and then put it back under the broiler until the cheese is nice and owy and gooey and melted and delicious. And, that's what I've done here. Okay, so now that we have our bread done and out of the way, we can set that to side. We're going to reduce this heat and we're going to put on our lid. We're going to cover it and we're going to let this cook for about 15 more minutes. So, at 15 minutes, I want you to come right back so that you can see how delicious this looks and we're going to build all of it together so we can eat our French Onion Soup. Okay, welcome back. It's been 15 minutes and I don't know you about you but I'm super excited. This is one of my favorite dishes and I want you to try it at home. So, I'm going to take off the lead here so you can see how absolutely delicious that is, okay? So, I've turned off my heat now because this is pretty much done and it's ready to go. I'm going to give it one more-give it one more stir here. That smells delicious. It's sweet. It's savory at the same time. Okay, so from our garnish, of course it's French Onion Soup. We have to have that delicious bread that we toasted earlier. So, I'm going to cut mine up into 4 little squares here so that it can fit in my bowl just a little bit better. And, if you love cheese-- how I love cheese, I have some extra Swiss cheese here that I have on the side. This is a great way to garnish your French Onion Soup. Okay, I have a ladle here. I have a bowl. Let's go to work. Okay, let me put this right into our bowl here. We have those delicious caramelized onions. We have that white wine in there. A little bit of Worcestershire to give it a nice deep rich flavor. This I can't wait to taste. Okay, there we go. Now, to garnish it all, I did put a little cheese underneath so it can start slowly melting right into that soup. And then, we're going to take our pieces of bread that we toasted in the oven with more Swiss cheese and kind of finish that right on top. Oh, man. How does that look? It looks so good, right? Let's clean up this a little bit here. And then, of course, more cheese. We got to have more cheese right on top right across that delicious toasty French bread that we have here. And, there we go. Let me grab a spoon. So, we can go right in and give that a taste. Wow! I love, love, love this recipe. Caramelly, oniony, cheesy-- all of my favorite words. So, you at home have fun with this recipe. Enjoy it and cozy up to a warm bowl of French Onion Soup.

What You'll Need

  • 1/4  cup butter
  • 2 1/2  cups thinly sliced onions (2 large)
  • 2  14  ounce can beef broth
  • 1/4  cup dry sherry or dry white wine
  • 1   teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4   1/2-inch slices French bread, toasted
  • 2/3  cup shredded Swiss, Gruyere, or Jarlsberg cheese

Step By Step

In a 3-quart saucepan melt butter. Add onion and cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 13 to 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Uncover saucepan; cook and stir onion over medium-high heat about 10 minutes more or until onion is golden. Stir in broth, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil; arrange bread slices on baking sheet. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until toasted, turning once. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes more or until cheese melts and is light brown.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with a bread slice. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

  • French Onion Soup with Beef: Prepare as above, except add 1 cup chopped cooked beef with the broth.
  • French Onion Soup with Mushrooms: Prepare as above, except add 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms to saucepan in Step 2 before adding broth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat about 15 minutes more or until onion is golden and mushrooms are tender. Continue as directed.

nutrition information

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 306, Fat, total (g) 18, chol. (mg) 47, sat. fat (g) 11, carb. (g) 24, fiber (g) 2, pro. (g) 10, sodium (mg) 1023, Potassium (mg) 173, calcium (mg) 182, iron (mg) 1, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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