French Onion Soup with Cheese Toasts

September 28th, 2008 by katie

Finally! School is in, folks. It’s been a tough couple of weeks but the kids are finally back in their element. Seemingly just in time, the weather is starting to cool off at night and fall seems to actually be possible. If you haven’t noticed, I love fall. I love the weather, the foods, the holidays and atmosphere.  Even in Houston, I can feel the air getting a little crisper-a little drier.  The leaves won’t turn here and it will be in the 80s until December, but you can smell fall in the air and feel the excitement and anticipation.

Often, I am disappointed to find French Onion Soup to be little more than raw onions in beef broth, when really it should be so much more.  I wanted to make a soup that would be a meal.  A warm, rich bowl of comfort.  This is not a quick soup-it takes over an hour-but it is rich and velvety and worth it. It makes a great fall meal paired with a salad and tart apple slices.  Next time I might try doubling the recipe and keeping a batch in the freezer for the many busy school nights coming up.

French Onion Soup

serve 4-6, prep 10 min, cook 90 min
  • 3 large onions, red, yellow, white or a combination, thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 56 oz beef broth, boiling
  • 1 heaping tbsp mushroom soup base (optional, or could sub mushroom broth for some of the beef broth)
  • 2 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1 loaf crusty french bread, thick slices
  • Swiss or Provolone cheese, thick sliced
  • Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling (optional)
  1. Heat butter and oil in a pot, add onions and shallot, sweat and soften for 15 min.
  2. Add salt and sugar, cook for 30-40 minutes until deeply golden brown, stir often enough so that they do not scorch.
  3. While onions are cooking bring broth to a boil, add mushroom base.
  4. Once thoroughly cooked, sprinkle onions with flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
  5. De-glaze with white wine and add hot beef broth.
  6. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. While soup simmers, toast french bread slices at 325°F for 30 min.
  8. Turn off heat on soup and stir in shredded Swiss.
  9. If you have individual oven-proof bowls: ladle soup into bowls, cover with a thick slice of bread, sliced Swiss and sprinkle with Parmesan. Broil-keeping a close eye!-as needed to melt and brown cheese.
  10. If you don’t: Cover toast with Swiss cheese and sprinkle with Parmesan, broil until cheese is melted. Serve soup topped with cheese toasts.

The onions you choose for this soup will greatly affect the flavor.  Super sweet varieties of onion will make the soup noticeably sweet.  I would use a combination of typical yellow or white onions and a red onion to keep the flavor beefy and onion-y without getting too sweet.

What’s for dinner this week?

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Posted in Easy, Main Dish

12 Responses

  1. noble pig

    Can you believe I have never made FO soup? And I love it…I need to do it, is sounds wonderful! Now I need some cool weather.

  2. Marie

    Rich and velvety! a perfect description of your soup here. I’m liking a bit of the mushroom soup base in there. I’ll have to try that in mine next time. What a warm and comfy fall meal, and your photo shows that! I appreciate the “link love” too!
    Hugs, Marie

  3. Jill

    French Onion Soup works beautifully in the freezer. I’m the only one in my family that likes it, but I REALLY like it. So I make a batch and freeze it in individual containers (with a baggie of shredded swiss cheese and a slice of french bread). When I want something special for lunch, I make myself French Onion soup. YUM!


  4. WasabiBratwurst

    I love French onion soup! It is getting brisk and it is that time of the year for soups to keep us warm.

    I see that you put shallots in yours. Have you tried mixing up your onions? I recently made a batch of caramelized onions with bunch of different types of onions and thought that it gave a new dimension in flavor.

  5. Melissa

    I’m with NP – I LOVE this soup, but have never made it. It’s actually been on “my list” for almost 9 months. Need to get to it.

  6. krysta

    strange… i’m like melissa and np, i have never made french onion soup either! why is this? i love it just have never bothered to make it.

  7. Kevin

    That French onion soup looks good! It is one of my favorite soups though it take a bit of time to make.

  8. Steven

    This soup turned out pretty amazing. I was impressed. Question though: What kind of wine are you talking about when you say “dry white wine”? I know my wine about as well as I know my mascara. I stood at the wine aisle in the grocery store for quite some time before I gave up and used some cooking sherry I already had at the house.

    Basically you don’t want anything sweet or mild, you want a wine with a little bite to it so you are adding some flavor and acid. I generally use a sauvignon blanc-although a cheaper bottle-because we like the fresh, acidic flavor. -Katie

  9. sweetbird

    I think I might have to give your version a try next time – my recipe takes about 12 hours to make. Not exactly conducive to weeknight dining.

  10. oneshotbeyond

    I love love love this stuff! I only order it out though…I’m such a wimp!

  11. Q.

    I have never made French Onion Soup but this FREEZING cold weather is making me consider it. I think it would be a perfect for the single digit temperatures here where I live. Hurray for good soup!

  12. Scorpio Woman

    I love french onion soup. I’ll try this one later. I’m saving it 🙂 Thanks a lot for posting this recipe and I love the photo. I already wanted caesar salad since yesterday and now I see this photo with one. I’ll have one tonight 🙂

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