Cheese-Topped Onion Soup

We are a house divided when it comes to soup. One of us (me) likes their soup served piping hot, and the other likes his merely warm.  (My daughter is not part of this equation since I always make sure to serve her soup cool enough not to burn her tongue).  I often get accused of serving boiling hot food for dinner, however my husband usually manages to get around the problem by eating his salad first while his soup cools.

So I knew there would be trouble when Dorie recommends that this soup be served “brûlante”, or “burning hot”.  Indeed, the main feedback I got about this recipe is that it was too hot.

“Cheese-Topped Onion Soup” is the quintessential French Onion Soup.  A large amount of onions are slowly caramelized, then the addition of white wine and chicken broth turns it into soup.  The crowning touch is a piece of toasted bread and melted Gruyère cheese sitting atop the soup.

I had a problem getting my onions to turn a “deep caramel color”.  After 3 hours(!) of cooking and giving into the temptation to try to speed things up by turning the heat up, they were only a light tan color.  My husband and I ended up eating dinner after my daughter went to bed because it was running so late.  I’m curious to see if others had the same problem.

Light Tan Onions After 3 Hours of Cooking

I found this soup to be very satisfying to eat, but not to make.  I enjoyed the flavors and especially the cheesy bread on top, but it wasn’t quite worth the nearly 4 hours it took to make.

Digging In

“Cheese-Topped Onion Soup” is this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe.  You can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s book
Around My French Table.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Cheese-Topped Onion Soup

  1. Justine

    I wonder if it had to do with altitude, or the type of pan you used? I can’t imagine eating onion soup ‘not so hot’. That just doesn’t sound appealing. Timing aside, the soup looks yummy!

  2. Patty

    My onions took more than 5 hours to caramelize. Have enjoyed all your writing and photos!

  3. I didn’t begin my soup until 6 – by 9:30 we were starving. My onions did not brown as much as I would have liked,(would have cooked them longer is we could have waited) but the soup was still very good.

  4. Wow, you had a late night. This soup does take some time and effort, doesn’t it. You have to really adore FOS to make this at home.

  5. bevwinchester

    Ditto with me in the long onion browning- I started those babies at 4 & we did not eat until 8! I was thinking I had screwed something up, but it was quite superb when I finally got it to the table.

  6. Wow, it sounds like a lot of people had very long browning times. Mine took a little over an hour using a 9 Qt dutch oven over medium-ish heat.
    Your soup looks great – it would go perfect on this cold, snowy morning…

  7. Your soup looks lovely! Sounds like so many people had problems with the caramelizing. I haven’t made this one yet but love french onion soup so I’ll be looking forward to it. Yours looks delicious! Nice post!

  8. Love your soup shots and your salad look SO YUMMY to my hungry belly right now!! :)

  9. Gorgeous soup! It is amazing that so many had problems with the onions. Good do know when I do make this, I might be a renegade and turn the heat up a smidge. Looks like a delicious meal.

  10. Your soup looks wonderful, Karen! The elevation must have helped cook your onions faster. :) I got so tired making this that I forgot to take photos while the onions were cooking, but the end result was so worth the time.

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