Almost anytime I see French onion soup on a menu, I can’t resist ordering it. The fact that a typical French onion soup recipe takes hours of active cooking time (and seems really easy to screw up in the process) had always prevented me from attempting to make it at home. At some point over the summer, I came home with a huge lot of sweet onions and figured it was the perfect chance to try and make a quicker and easier soup. I got to testing out a fast French onion soup recipe, and it turns out that my version (which only takes 40 minutes, vs the typical 3-4 hours) is not only super flavorful, but super easy, too.
Recreating your favorite restaurant-style French onion soup at home is easier than you think. With these quick and simple steps you can serve up hearty bowls filled with flavorful, rich broth, sweet, caramelized onions, and crusty bread coated in cheese—no special oven-safe bowls needed. All you need is a handful of pantry staples and 40 minutes, and you can have a simmering pot of warming soup for the cooler nights ahead—a family favorite.
My newest fall soup obsession is made up of melty cheese, carmelized onions, and rich broth.
By Karen Biton-Cohen
unsalted butter: 4 tablespoons
sweet vidalia onions: 2 extra large (peeled and thinly sliced)
sugar: 2 teaspoons
salt: 1 teaspoon (plus more for seasoning)
red wine: ¼ cup (or a splash of balsamic vinegar)
all-natural beef broth: 1 quart
fresh thyme: 5 sprigs
freshly cracked black pepper: 1 teaspoon
demi baguette: sliced in half, lengthwise, and then cut into 4 4-inch pieces
swiss cheese: 4 slices (or melty cheese of choice)
Step 1: Melt the butter in a large dutch oven (or stock pot) over medium heat. Step 2: Add the thinly sliced onions, sugar, and salt. Sauté the onion slices until caramelized (about 20 minutes) stirring regularly. Step 3: Once the onions are fully caramelized (deeply golden in color, soft, and sweet), deglaze the pot with the red wine (or balsamic vinegar, if using). Once most of the wine has evaporated, add the beef broth, sprigs of thyme, and freshly cracked black pepper and stir well. Bring the broth to a boil, then cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes. Step 4: Turn oven to broil. While the broth is simmering, place the baguette pieces on a baking sheet and cover with cheese slices. Place under the broiler until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted (about 5 to 7 minutes). Before serving, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning; add more salt and pepper to your liking. Discard the sprigs of thyme. Step 5: To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and place one piece of melted cheese toast in each bowl—bon appetit! More Dinner Recipes: