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This French Onion soup is super easy to make and absolutely rich and delicious!
French onion soup. Hot, cheesy, and bursting with rich beef and onion flavor. How can you not love it? The combination of deep caramelized onions, rich, flavorful homemade beef broth, stale, toasted bread (wait, I thought I was trying to make this sounds good?), and melted cheese.
Mmmm, melted cheese. Gruyere is the most common cheese used in French onion soup, however, any flavorful cheese such as Swiss, Jarlsberg, Emmantheler, or Gouda will work wonderfully. For this recipe, I used Jarlsberg, but like I said, any flavorful cheese will do just fine.
I STRONGLY recommend using homemade beef broth for this recipe. While the store bought will technically work, homemade provides a deep, rich beef flavor, which is key to the flavor of this soup.
Related Recipe: Kimchi Tofu Stew
For the toasted bread, I find the sale rack at the grocery store and buy whatever cheap loaf of bread they have. I try to stay away from sourdough, but any other white bread will do. The freshness doesn’t really matter because we are basically toasting all the moisture out of it anyway.
Melt the butter over medium-low heat and add the onions. Cook until brown and caramelized, stirring often. It should take the onions about 20 minutes to reach the golden “brownness” we like to see.
Add the garlic, sherry, white wine and bring to a simmer. Add thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper and beef broth.
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. At this point, I taste the broth and season with additional salt as needed. When I make homemade beef broth, I use a very minimal amount of salt so this step is important.
Slice and toast the bread until very crispy.
Pour the broth into individual oven safe crocks.
Place the toasted bread over the broth and layer the top with the thinly sliced cheese. I prefer using sliced cheese here because I despise using the grater. However, grated cheese is perfectly acceptable.
Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and browned. Serve this French onion soup as an appetizer, side dish, or even just as a meal (it’s that hearty). It’s delicious, I hope you make it and love it. I’m pretty sure you will.
Did you make this recipe? Leave me a comment below and let me know how it turned out!
Instant Pot French Onion Soup
- Melt the butter in the Instant Pot on the saute setting. Add the onions and stir to coat with the butter.
- Switch the Instant Pot to the pressure setting and cook on high for 20 minutes. Use the quick release to release the pressure.
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions start to turn brown and much of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the garlic, sherry, beef broth, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
- Use the quick release to release the pressure.
- While the soup is cooking, slice the baguette into 1 inch slices.
- Ladle the soup into individual oven proof crocks.
- Place 1-2 slices of bread over the soup and sprinkle with about 1/8 cup of the grated Gruyere.
- Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and browned, about 2-3 minutes. Be sure to watch it under the broiler to ensure it doesn't burn. All broilers act a little different.
- Use beef bone broth for the best results.
- Substitute any type of onions for the yellow onions.
- If using dried thyme, use half the amount called for in the recipe.
- Substitute Swiss, Jarlsberg, or Emmantheler for the Gruyere if desired. They all have a great flavor and go very well with this soup.
- A crusty French baguette is the best bread to use, but any crusty bread can be used. You can also toast the bread for extra crustiness.
- Adjust salt to taste. Depending on the beef broth you use, it may contain more sodium than others. The recipe calls for a minimal amount of salt, but you will likely need to adjust it if using unsalted/low sodium broth.
Looking for some other classic comfort foods? Check out these recipes: