Soup French Style with Three Kinds of Onions

The soup gets better after a day so consider making in advance and do your best to use all three colors of onions.

Wine match – Beaujolais, a light Pinot Noir or even this cab will work well with the soup Pedroncelli, 2015 Three Vineyards Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% alcohol, $20.

Soup French Style with Three Kinds of Onions

Servings: 6-8


  • 4 Tablespoons / butter
  • 3 pounds / onions preferably a combination of white, yellow, and red, peeled and very thinly sliced, Cuisinart #2 disc was perfect
  • 1 leek white part only, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup / brandy
  • black pepper in a mill
  • 1 cup / medium-bodied red wine
  • 6 cups / homemade beef stock If you don’t have a lot of beef stock on hand try a product that I recently discovered and think it is terrific called Better Than Bouillon beef base, it’s in Jewel stores in the Chicago market and check their website for availability where you live. They make a complete line of stocks and I think you’ll find them tasty.
  • 4-6 slices / good bread, toasted 2 day old bread is ideal
  • 12 ounces / cheese, grated Italian Fontina, Gruyère, Monterey Jack, I used a combination of Monterey Jack and Jarlsberg as Gruyère is expensive


  1. In a large, heavy soup kettle, heat the butter until it is foamy.
  2. Add the onions and leek, season with salt, and sauté over low heat until very limp, fragrant, and completely tender, about 35 minutes. Do not let them brown.
  3. Turn the heat to high, add the brandy, shake the pan and cook rapidly until the brandy is evaporated, then season with salt and several grinds of black pepper.
  4. Add the wine, reduce by half, add the stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer very gently for about 40 minutes.
  5. Taste and correct for salt and pepper.
  6. To serve, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  7. Ladle the soup into deep, ovensafe soup bowls, and set a piece of bread on top of each one.
  8. Divide the cheese among the servings, set the bowls on a sheet pan, and carefully set in a 325-degree oven for about 7 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  9. Remove the soup from the oven, place each bowl on a saucer, and enjoy right away.
  10. OR
  11. Place the soup serving in the bowl and heat in a microwave for three minutes or until warm.
  12. Place the bread slice or cubes in the soup and top with the grated cheese.
  13. Return to the microwave for a minute or more to melt the cheese.