Sunday, March 9, 2014

American Onion Soup

Based on a video recipe for "American French Onion Soup—Easy Just Got Easier" from Food Wishes, April 24, 2012. Read the story behind this dish in Sunday, Dinner for Two.

Notes: Chef John, in the original recipe, used a mixture of Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar cheeses. I chose to go traditional and use Gruyere. If you don't have a broiler-safe soup bowl you can create the raft of cheesy toast by toasting the bread in your toaster, covering it with grated cheese, and melting the cheese in the microwave. Use high quality, low sodium broths. Makes about 2½ quarts soup.



6 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Table salt and black pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tablespoons dry sherry wine
4 cups beef broth
4 cups chicken broth
Gruyere cheese


  1. Peel the onions and cut into large dice (½- to 1-inch).
  2. Heat oven to 425° with a rack in the middle position.
  3. In a large oven-proof skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  4. Add onions and ½ teaspoon salt.
  5. Stir to coat all of the onion in the melted butter.
  6. Move the onions to the oven and cook until well caramelized, soft, and sweet, stirring every 15 minutes.  About 90 minutes.
  7. Move the pan to stove over medium heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned and brown fond forms on the bottom of the pan, about 30 minutes.
  8. Add the sherry and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  9. When the liquid has almost all evaporated transfer the onions to a large sauce pan.
  10. Add the thyme, chicken broth, and beef broth, 
  11. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, skimming and discarding any fat or foam that rises to the surface.
  12. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for 1 hour.
  13. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  14. Remove the thyme stems from the soup and discard.
  15. Slice some hearty white bread, coat it with butter, and toast under the broiler.
  16. Fill a heat-proof bowl or ramekin with soup, top with the toast and ⅓ cup shredded cheese.
  17. Place under the broiler (about 6 inches away) and cook about 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  18. Serve and enjoy.

Peel 6 large yellow onions then cut into large dice.
Melt butter in a large oven-proof skillet, add onion, and stir to coat.
Cook the onion in the oven until soft and well caramelized.
Cook the caramelized onion on the stove until browned and a fond has formed.
Deglaze with sherry and combine onions with broths and thyme.
Bring to a boil then simmer.
Serve in bowls topped with toast and cheese which has melted under the broiler.