About as good as it gets! This is the version of French Onion Soup that people seek when they go to restaurants. I have been making it for 30 years and it never fails to please. It makes an exquisite presentation, too!

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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in salt, red onions and sweet onions. Cook 35 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized and almost syrupy.

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  • Mix chicken broth, beef broth, red wine and Worcestershire sauce into pot. Bundle the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf with twine and place in pot. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the herbs. Reduce the heat to low, mix in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep over low heat to stay hot while you prepare the bread.

  • Preheat oven broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and broil 3 minutes, turning once, until well toasted on both sides. Remove from heat; do not turn off broiler.

  • Arrange 4 large oven safe bowls or crocks on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill each bowl 2/3 full with hot soup. Top each bowl with 1 slice toasted bread, 2 slice Gruyere cheese and 1/4 of the Asiago or mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a little bit of paprika over the top of each one.

  • Broil 5 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. As it softens, the cheese will cascade over the sides of the crock and form a beautifully melted crusty seal. Serve immediately!

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

617.8 calories; 29.7 g protein; 39.5 g carbohydrates; 113.9 mg cholesterol; 3335.7 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1251)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
09/12/2006
Hi! Recipe creator/contributor here. Thanks for trying the onion soup and for all the thoughtful reviews. Just a couple of comments I thought might be helpful. The 1 teaspoon of salt in the beginning of the recipe cannot be omitted as it is necessary for the proper caramelization of the onions. However, at the conclusion of the simmering process, please be sure to taste the soup before deciding to add any more salt (or pepper). Also, the addition of balsamic vinegar at the end is very important--not only for taste--but also because there's a chemical in red onions that tends to turn the soup gray and cloudy, and the balsamic vinegar corrects that. Lastly, while my broiler does take 4-5 minutes to melt the cheese properly, that's probably because I place the baking sheet on a lower rack. Yours may take less time. Well, thanks again for all your kind comments... and, enjoy! Read More
(1457)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
01/20/2008
This recipe is a close spin on the 1999 cooksillustrated.com / America's Test Kitchen French Onion Soup Gratinee recipe, and could use a little less butter (about half) and less red wine. (For a more subtle and sophisticated version, replace the red wine with 1/4 c. sherry.) The sweet onions make the soup a little too sweet - better to stick solely with about 4 lbs. red or yellow onions. ATK omits the Worcestershire and the paprika as well. Also, better to let the dish rest a few minutes out of the broiler - it's too hot to serve immediately. Read More
(91)
1746 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1427
  • 4 star values: 228
  • 3 star values: 54
  • 2 star values: 24
  • 1 star values: 13
Rating: 5 stars
09/12/2006
Hi! Recipe creator/contributor here. Thanks for trying the onion soup and for all the thoughtful reviews. Just a couple of comments I thought might be helpful. The 1 teaspoon of salt in the beginning of the recipe cannot be omitted as it is necessary for the proper caramelization of the onions. However, at the conclusion of the simmering process, please be sure to taste the soup before deciding to add any more salt (or pepper). Also, the addition of balsamic vinegar at the end is very important--not only for taste--but also because there's a chemical in red onions that tends to turn the soup gray and cloudy, and the balsamic vinegar corrects that. Lastly, while my broiler does take 4-5 minutes to melt the cheese properly, that's probably because I place the baking sheet on a lower rack. Yours may take less time. Well, thanks again for all your kind comments... and, enjoy! Read More
(1457)
Rating: 5 stars
12/21/2008
ONE MORE TIME... Have made this again and, again, wasn't disappointed. THIS IS THE BEST, without exception! Anyone looking for the best Onion Soup Recipe on the Planet? You found it! This was the most incredible onion soup recipe we have ever tried. We followed the recipe exactly. .Make sure you cook the onions as suggested to almost a carmelized soft, syrupy, consistency. You may not need to adjust the salt in the end; the combination of beef and chicken broth and the Worcestershire and balsamic vinegar may be salty enough for many. The bottom line to this review, is if you want to really impress your family and friends with a onion soup recipe that is better than any restaurant recipe we have ever tried, USE THIS ONE! You will not be disappointed. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us. Read More
(602)
Rating: 5 stars
07/11/2006
One recommendation: I use croutons rather than sliced French bread. It is much easier than cutting through a thick piece of cheese-covered bread. Guests and family say they like that: it adds to the enjoyment and ease of eating without losing any visual appeal. Read More
(423)
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Rating: 4 stars
07/12/2006
This is really good soup! I made it per the directions but I don't eat beef, so used an equal mix of chicken and vege-table stocks. This soup tastes a lot like what you might order at a nicer restaurant. I do question the use of mozzerella and asiago cheeses - two Italian cheeses - in something that is so decidedly French. I personally was not a fan of the resulting taste and next time I will combine parts of this and my recipe, which calls for the use of Gruyere or true Emmental swiss (no substitutions). If desired, throw into the soup the rind of one hard French or Swiss-made cheese of your choice, doing so after removing kettle from flame to rest (about ten minutes). I also use sherry wine, not balsamic vinegar, because my grandmother always used this flavor in soups and casseroles. The sherry imparts a subtle sweet-smokey flavor that is a nice counterpoint to the Gruyere's mild tanginess. Remove cheese rind, and ladle the soup into bowls. Top with a 1/2 in. slice of dense, day-old, crusty french baguette that has been lightly toasted beforehand. Top with Gruyere swiss or Emmental and continue with recipe, broiling as directed. I found just 3 minutes in the broiler was enough. Keep an eye out for over cooking - there is nothing worse than the taste and smell of burnt cheese. Read More
(143)
Rating: 5 stars
07/17/2006
This french onion soup has great depth of flavors!!! I pretty much stuck to the recipe except I used seasoned croutons instead of the bread & I omitted the mozzarella cheese as I didn't have any. I did miss the stringiness of the mozzarella ...gruyere has a wonderful flavor but it tends to just clump up. I did decrease the chicken broth some & used more beef (I used low sodium broths) & I aded a tsp. of beef base which really helped kick up the beefy flavor. This was a fairly hearty french onion soup, I think next time I might add more broth to thin it out some. The wine I used was a shiraz. A glass of the shiraz & a fresh salad was all the accompaniments it needed...thanks so much for a wonderful soup! Read More
(143)
Rating: 5 stars
02/27/2007
Excellent soup. I didn't read through the recipe first so I had to make 2 modifications. I had to use dried parsley and thyme. I used 1/2 tsp. parsley and 1/4 tsp. thyme and I only had enough swiss for one piece on top. Even with the modifications we still rate this a 5. It has a deep full bodied flavor. Can't wait to try it again but I will make sure I have the right amount of cheese and the fresh herbs. Read More
(120)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/13/2006
I'm going to give it 5 stars even though it didn't quite turn out for me. I tried to double this recipe and my advice is...DON'T! It never reached the fabled gooey, almost carmelized state of which so many people spoke. I stood over the pot stirring for not 1/2 hour, but 2 hours hoping against hope it would all work out in the end. While it smelled great and the onion became soft, it never carmelized. Plus, my hair smelled like onion for two days from standing over onion steam for so long... While it was very very good I must only imagine how much better it would have been had it attained the gooey state. So, I'm going to try this again-without doubling it. I used the recommended cheese...don't substitute on the Asiago. MMMM GOOD! Read More
(95)
Rating: 3 stars
01/19/2008
This recipe is a close spin on the 1999 cooksillustrated.com / America's Test Kitchen French Onion Soup Gratinee recipe, and could use a little less butter (about half) and less red wine. (For a more subtle and sophisticated version, replace the red wine with 1/4 c. sherry.) The sweet onions make the soup a little too sweet - better to stick solely with about 4 lbs. red or yellow onions. ATK omits the Worcestershire and the paprika as well. Also, better to let the dish rest a few minutes out of the broiler - it's too hot to serve immediately. Read More
(91)
Rating: 5 stars
09/20/2012
This was excellent—as good as any restaurant version. However, it is misleading to think onions caramelize in 35 minutes. I think it takes about an hour to get great sweet caramelized onions. There are a couple of tips that I think help: After the onions have started cooking for about 10 minutes, add the required salt but also add SUGAR to help with the caramelizing process (about 1 – 2 tsp). Continue letting the onions cook, only stirring OCCASIONALLY. If you are constantly stirring the onions, they won’t brown. I usually set my timer for every 5 minutes, stir, and then reset for another 5 minutes. When the onions start sticking to the pan, let them stick and brown, but then stir them before they burn. Once the onions were done, I followed everything per the recipe and it came out delicious! I will definitely be making this again! Read More
(84)