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Pardon Our French Onion Soup

Written By Pam Brandon and Anne-Marie Denicole On March 3, 2010


Parlez-vous l’oignon? French onion soup from the Divas of Dish.

The divas crave this classic crock, a rich, beefy, onion-infused broth topped with cuts of toasty baguette and gooey Gruyere. It might have been that first taste of big-girl cuisine with mom and dad, or a first date at the swanky steakhouse reserved for special occasions.

But for all its elegant allure, French onion soup is comprised of the most humble ingredients. Some say it was the ingenious invention of King Louis XV who, while enjoying an impromptu hunting excursion, realized he had only wine, onions, cheese and bread for dinner. Others believe the origins root in the hearty peasant cuisine of the canuts, 19th century silk workers in Lyon, France, who figured out something delicious and cheap with all the onions that proliferated in their gardens.

No oven-safe crocks? Simply melt the cheese on toasted bread under the broiler and add to the soup before serving.

Pardon our French Onion Soup

Serves 4

3 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

3 large sweet onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

Coarse salt, cracked black pepper, to taste

1 cup dry white wine

6 cups beef stock

1 baguette, sliced

2 cups Gruyere, grated


Heat a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, onions, salt and pepper; cook about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a deep, golden brown. Turn heat to high and add the wine, reducing mixture to the consistency of syrup. Add beef stock and bring to a simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes.


Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush the baguette slices with the remaining olive oil and place on a cookie sheet.  Toast until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove the bread and top with grated Gruyere. Return to oven and broil until cheese is bubbly.


Serve soup in bowls topped with the bread and melted cheese.

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