French Onion Soup

I was a boy of single digits when my mom introduced my brother and I to our first crock of French Onion Soup. It was love at first oniony, cheesy, hot, chewy and soggy bread slurp. It was also a surprise gift by my young wife to her little family one day back when we were more concerned about the cost of food than cooking anything special. My kids and I still talk about their Mom’s French Onion Soup. Anyway, I decided I would take up the challenge myself. I hope it is half as good as the soup of my predecessors in the family.

When you are slicing the opinions don’t be alarmed by the apparent “mountain” of onions you will find when you finish. These will cook down to about 1/3 their starting size.


• 4 Tbs unsalted butter
• 4 Tbs olive oil
• 3 extra-large Vidalia (or sweet) onions, quartered and sliced thinly
• 2 extra-large white onions, quartered and sliced thinly
• 1 Tbs sugar
• Salt
• Black pepper
• 2 cloves minced garlic
• 1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 cup sherry or other favorite dry white wine
8 cups beef stock
2 Tbs Beef Better Than Bouillon
• Slices French baguette, toasted (about 8-12 slices)
• 2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
• Thyme leaves, for garnish


  1. Place a very large pot over medium-high heat, and add in the butter and the oil; once melted together, add in the “mountain” of sliced onions (lol!) and stir to get them situated in the pot; cook them, stirring every few moments, until they begin to soften and wilt down, about 15 minutes.
  2. After the 15 minutes, add in the sugar, a couple of good pinches of salt, plus a hefty pinch of black pepper, and stir to combine; continue to cook the onions until they caramelize and become a deep, golden-brown, and have an almost “jam” like in consistency, about another 20-25 minutes.
  3. Once the onions are caramelized and softened, add in the garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and wine and stir; simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced. Mix in the Better Than Bouillon into the soup.
  4. Add in the hot beef stock and bring to a rolling simmer/boil, then reduce the heat to low or medium-low, and simmer the soup, uncovered, for about 40-45 minutes to marry the flavors and to slightly reduce it
  5. Mix in the Better Than Bouillon into the soup. Fish out and discard the bay leaves
  6. To serve, ladle soup into oven/broiler-proof bowls or little crocks, then top with a couple of pieces of toasted baguette, and about ½ cup of the shredded gruyere cheese, and place on a baking sheet under the broiler to melt and caramelize the cheese; garnish with a few thyme leaves, if desired