This is the quickest French onion soup. It’s ready in under 15 minutes but is as decadent and delicious as the original.
Back when I was a kid I loved French Onion Soup. But if you’d told me that it was made mostly out of onions, I wouldn’t have believed you. I mean, I knew that “onion” was in the title but it didn’t taste oniony to me. No harsh bite. No spicy crunch. No watering eyes. It was all gooey and sweet and rich and mellow and goooood.
Nowadays I understand how it’s possible that the kid-despised vegetable can lead to such beautiful flavors. It’s because onions have sugar in them. And when you cook them, that sugar gets caramelized and so so sweet. If you make a soup out of those caramelized sweet onions, it’s a beautiful thing.
This French Onion Soup is ready in under 15 minutes, like all of my SOUPin15 recipes. The key is to get the onions cooking as soon as possible and to not use very many of them so that they don’t crowd the pan. Once they’re underway, you warm up some broth and add some flavorful things to it so that it can infuse. And you turn on the broiler because there is going to be some cheese toast to make. Oh yes. There will be cheese toast.
As with all of the SOUPin15 recipes, this one comes with a SouperTip for making soups delicious in a short amount of time. The SouperTip for the Quick French Onion Soup is to use wine. Wine adds sweetness and acidity to soups and can take a broth from ordinary to extraordinary. It’s important to add the wine at the beginning of cooking the soup though. Or, as I’ve done in today’s recipe, add it to simmering vegetables and let it reduce for a minute before adding it to the soup. In this way, the wine simultaneously intensifies and loses some of its harsher flavor.
This is the quickest french onion soup. It’s ready in under 15 minutes but is as decadent and delicious as the original.
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 large sweet onions, divided
1 and 1/2 tsp. brown sugar, divided
coarse black pepper
6 cups low or no-sodium beef broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme
baguette or other white bread
5 oz. Gruyere cheese
1 cup red wine
Cut the butter into small pieces and put it into a very large skillet over medium heat. Peel and slice one onion. Add it to the skillet. Increase heat to medium-high. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the brown sugar and a pinch of salt and of black pepper. Stir. Peel and slice a second onion. Add it to the skillet with another 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar and some salt and pepper. Stir. Repeat with final onion. Cover skillet (if you don’t have a cover for it, use a large baking sheet or a big piece of aluminium foil). Continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, untill well-browned and very soft, 10-11 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Pour the beef broth into a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the thyme. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
While the broth is heating, slice the bread into 4-5 slices. Put in a single layer on a baking sheet and put it under the broiler until it is toasted. Shred the cheese. Remove toast from broiler. Flip slices over. Top each with some of the cheese. Return it to under the broiler until cheese is melted.
When the onions are well-browned, add the wine to them. Stir it until most of the wine has evaporated. Add the onions and wine to the hot broth. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with a slice of cheese toast.
I'm Christine Pittman, a cookbook author and busy mom of two. My recipes are made from scratch, they're quick, and they're fresh. I started this website over 10 years ago and I'm delighted that over a million people now come to visit every month to try my recipes. Thank you for visiting and for joining me on this delicious journey!Find out more about me here.
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