French Onion Soup

2/13/2021 – This was very good and inspired by the recipe by Jessica Gavin here where she provides many good tips about how to make it and what is important.


  • 2 pounds yellow onion peeled, quartered then cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. [to be more like the restaurant version, slice the onions 1/8″ thick]
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ~ 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped small
  • 1 cup red wine. 2016 Campo Viejo, RIOJA, from Spain
  • 1 quart Swanson’s beef stock
  • 4 sprigs of thyme from our herb garden
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • 8 ½”-thick slices crusty ciabatta bread
  • about 1.5 cups shredded gruyere & swiss cheese


  1. In the blue enamel lined cast iron saute pan melt the butter, add olive oil, brown sugar, and salt.
  2. Add in onions and stir to coat, saute and stir frequently until onion begins to soften and lightly brown, 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, cook onions, stirring frequently, ensuring the onions do not burn and are browned, 30 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  5. Add wine to deglaze the pan, stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Increase heat to allow the wine to boil and evaporate, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add beef stock, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf.
  8. Bring stock to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer, 30 minutes.
  9. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf, taste soup and adjust seasoning if needed. We did not need to.
  10. Place bread on a baking pan and broil on high in the center of the oven for 5 minutes, flip and toast another 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  11. Add soup to 4 bowls, top with toasted bread slices (1 to 2), and evenly distribute cheese on top of each piece of bread.
  12. Broil on high, about 8 inches away from the top of the oven until cheese is melted and golden, 5 to 6 minutes.
  13. Serve.
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