Fresh From Nancy's Garden

A Fun Place For Gardening Tips and Great Recipes

French Onion Soup via Colorado– Merci!

I love a great bowl of French onion soup–especially on a cold wintery day. Over the years I’ve experimented with at least a dozen recipes and was happy with one that came from an old Colorado Junior League cookbook–that is until now.

This recipe is even better. And ironically, it’s also from Colorado. My friend Susan Mitchell got the chef at Whole Foods in Cherry Creek to jot the ingredients down on a napkin. That’s it–just ingredients, no measurements. She took it from there and shared it with me. 

Just remember, measurements aren’t exact, but don’t worry, you can’t go wrong if you cook the onions properly. Oh and for my vegetarian friends–no beef broth! But don’t worry meat-lovers, you’ll never know the difference–it’s that rich and yummy. 

  • 2-5 TBS. olive oil, just enough to coat bottom of a heavy stock pot
  • 2-3 TBS. butter
  • 5 red onions, sliced thin
  • 5 brown onions, sliced thin
  • 3/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 TBS. fresh thyme, chopped fine
  • 1 jar Better Than Bouillon (this recipe called for vegetable)
  • 4 quarts water, more if needed
  • black pepper, to taste
  • cayenne, to taste
  • baguette, sliced thin
  • grated Gruyere cheese

Thinly slice the onions. I like to use my mandoline for a consistent thickness and it’s just easier than using a knife.

Coat the bottom of a heavy-bottomed stock pot, or Le Crueset, with olive oil and butter. It’s important to use a heavy-bottomed pot so the onions don’t burn.

Add all the onions. They will fill the entire pot and you’ll be shocked to see how much they shrink. Heat on medium high heat. Leave them alone for the first 15 minutes. I know you’ll be tempted to move them around in the pot, but don’t. They need time to “sweat”.

This is how they look after 1/2 hour. At this point you can stir them every 15 minutes.

Here they are after about an hour. Now you can stir every 10 minutes.

And finally, here they are when they’re done. It took almost an hour and an half. During the last half hour stir every 5 minutes to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. 

When they’re nice and brown add the Marsala wine and deglaze.

Next stir in the balsamic. Cook for about a minute. 

Add finely chopped thyme.

Mix the bouillon with 1 quart of water then add to pot. Add remaining 3 quarts of water. Depending on your taste, you can add more water.

Cook over medium heat until all the flavors blend–at least an hour. Taste occasionally and add pepper and cayenne if you want a little kick at the end.

To finish–toast two slices of a baguette per serving. Ladle soup into oven-proof bowls. Top with toasted baguette and grated Gruyere cheese and put in center of oven and BROIL until cheese is melted and browned.

Be careful when you serve it because the bowl will be hot…and oh so delicious! This is a great way to start the weekend or end a long day at work!

As it often the case with soup, it’s even better the next day. If needed, add a little water and enjoy it all over again.

Categories: Uncategorized

4 replies

  1. You're in the wrong business Nancy

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hey Nancy, this is Jerry from Michigan. This is all so scrumptious, just the pictures make my mouth water…if you can, send me an email at – my other online account got breached on Sunday so we closed it down, for now. I have a question about the onion soup recipe – and that Treme show you mentioned 🙂 Thanks. Jerry

  4. Hi Jerry,Thanks for reading my blog. What's your onion soup question? I prefer to communicate via this site.Nancy

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