Red Onion Soup with Gruyere Toasts


I had to squeeze in one last batch of warm and cozy soup before the end of winter. πŸ™‚ French Onion Soup is one of my all-time favorites. I expected that this dish would be simply a different version of French Onion Soup, but it lacked the sweetness that I love. I added sugar to offset the bitterness of the red onions and it was much improved. (I never add sugar to savory dishes! I guess never say never…) I also substituted homemade turkey stock for half of the water in the recipe. The rich and dark color from the caramelized red onions was gorgeous and the fabulous cheesy herb toast topping made the soup just right. This recipe was adapted from Jacques PΓ©pin, via David Tanis of The New York Times.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

  • Olive oil
  • 6 pounds red onions, peeled, sliced 1/8-inch thick (about 8 large onions)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 LARGE bunch thyme, tied with string
  • 16 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 2-4 tablespoons brandy (optional)
  • 2-4 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional), or to taste
  • 8 -10 slices day-old bread, lightly toasted (I used a sourdough baguette)
  • 10 ounces grated GruyΓ¨re, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped sage
Set 2 large, wide skillets over medium-high heat. When pans are hot, add 1 tablespoon oil and a large handful of sliced onions to each pan. Season onions with salt and pepper, then sautΓ©, stirring occasionally, until they are a ruddy dark brown, about 10 minutes.
Transfer onions to soup pot and return pans to stove. Pour 1/2 cup water into each pan to deglaze it, scraping with a wooden spoon to dissolve any brown bits. Pour deglazing liquid into soup pot. Wipe pans clean with paper towel and begin again with more oil and sliced onions. Continue until all onions are used. Don’t crowd pans or onions won’t brown sufficiently.
Place soup pot over high heat. Add wine, bay leaves, thyme bunch and garlic. Simmer rapidly for 5 minutes, then add stock and 4 cups water and return to boil. Turn heat down to maintain a gentle simmer. Add 4 teaspoons salt. Cook for 45 minutes. Skim off any surface fat, taste and adjust seasoning. (May be prepared to this point up to 2 days in advance.)
To serve, add brandy and/or sugar to soup, if using, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove the thyme. Make the cheese toasts: Heat broiler. Place toasted bread on baking sheet. Mix grated cheese with chopped thyme and sage, along with a generous amount of pepper. Heap about 1 ounce of cheese mixture on each toast. Broil until cheese bubbles and browns slightly. Ladle soup into wide bowls and top with toast. (I sprinkled the soup with extra cheese as well!)
One Year Ago:

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About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

28 responses to “Red Onion Soup with Gruyere Toasts

  1. Victoria

    OMG, one of my FAV soups and toasts!!

  2. I love French onion soup… And this one I would take any time of the year! Lovely recipe.. πŸ™‚

  3. ah that Gruyere Toast is to die for πŸ™‚

  4. French onion soup is one of my favorites too! I like how your used red onions. What a lovely recipe and gruyère toast! Looks so delicious.

  5. girlwithaskillet

    Wow! This looks amazing! I’ve never used red onions for french onion soup before, but I’ll definitely have to give it try next time. Great idea!

  6. I am dead here!!!!
    I love onion soup!!!!

  7. I wish I could have a few of those gruyere toasts right now – one of my absolute favorite cheeses! So savory. I imagine this to be so fantastic – lovely recipe!

  8. We often add sugar to savory Vietnamese cuisine. It adds a nice balance to the other flavors. πŸ™‚ Your soup looks so warm and comforting. I wish I had a bowl even though we’re in the high 70s/low 80s here already!

  9. Looks fabulous! I love red onions, but have never tried them in soup… Can’t wait to try this πŸ™‚

  10. Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award. Congratulations! You can find the details on my blog –

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