Classic French Onion Soup

Picture-Perfect Meals™

Classic French Onion Soup

Makes 6 servings

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced in half-moons
  • 3 large sweet onions, thinly sliced in half-moons
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • pinch of sugar
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small baguette, halved lengthwise
  • 6 ounces Gruyère or Swiss cheese, sliced
  • minced parsley, for garnish
  1. In a Dutch oven over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onions and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits as they cook, until the onions are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes (may take longer, depending on the size of your onions). Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and white wine, scraping up any more browned bits on the bottom and sides of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has reduced, about 15 minutes.  
  2. Add in the bay leaves, thyme, sugar, stock and Worcestershire, raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 1-1/2 hours, occasionally stirring. Adjust salt and pepper, if necessary. Fish out the bay leaves and discard. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Cut the baguette into pieces that will just fit inside the rim of individual broiler-safe crocks or bowls. Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the bread is golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  4. Adjust the oven to the broil setting. Set individual broiler-safe crocks on a rimmed baking sheet and fill each crock with about 1-3/4 cups of soup. Nestle a toasted baguette slice in each bowl, so that it is slightly elevated, and only the bottom part of the bread is touching the soup, and top with a slice of cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly around the edges. Allow the soup to cool for 3 minutes before sprinkling with some parsley.

...from the Picture-Perfect kitchen:

  • Planning: This soup is even better made a day or two in advance (minus the bread topping).
  • Product Purity:  As always, check the label on your Worcestershire sauce. Many contain high fructose corn syrup. I use an organic, like Annie's, which has fantastic depth of flavor. Opt for organic, all-natural beef stock. My choice is Kitchen Basics.
  • Presentation: The handled crock in the photo makes a great bowl for French Onion Soup. I troll stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshall's for props--they are goldmines for scoring upscale serving pieces for next to nothing.

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