Compliments of David’s Restaurants

Five Onion Soup


One of my go-to favorite soups that I also really just enjoy making is French Onion Soup Gratinee. I may enjoy it more because I have a beautiful antique copper-braising pan that I bought in France in 1989. I have probably cooked in this pan 500 times! And I just love its weight and the nostalgia of using it. 

Classically, the onions are cooked for a long time until they get really dark to develop the natural sugars. While I enjoy the soup made this way, I also enjoy this variation—It leaves the onions recognizable and comes out with a superior texture. Several types of onions makes for a more nuanced flavor and the addition of the Maine maple syrup creates a nice sweet/acidic counter point with the sherry that I think is fantastic.

Thickened or just liquid broth is a big debate among onion soup aficionados. I am in the thickened camp but if you’re not, leave out the flour. If you’re avoiding gluten try changing out the flour for rice flour or cornstarch.

The cheese…another controversial topic! Not to offend the purists, but my favorite is beer cheddar. The one I like the best is Alehouse Cheddar made by Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company (Hannaford often has it).

To be honest, I love onion soup—if I’m traveling and I see it on a tavern menu I almost always have a bowl. It just feels like a big hug.


Five Onion Soup

Yield: 8 bowls



4 T Butter  ( ½ stick)
1 Large Yellow onion, sliced
1 Large Red onion, sliced
2 Large Shallots, sliced
1 Medium-sized Leek, green and white parts, sliced
1 Bunch Scallions, chopped
1/3 C Maple Syrup
3 T Flour
½ C Sherry
3 C Chicken broth
3 C Beef broth
1 t Salt
1 t Black pepper

16 slices French bread
16 oz Cheddar, Swiss or Gruyere, shredded
Fresh Thyme for garnish

Method of Preparation:

1. Sauté all the onions with butter in a straight sided sauté pan.  Stir often with a wooden spoon until the onions start to develop some nice color—but not too dark and caramelized.

2. Stir in the maple syrup, cook onion until a little darker—careful not to burn the syrup.

3. Stir in the flour to make a roux.

4. Deglaze with the sherry.

5 Add the chicken and beef broth and bring to simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

6. Lay slices of French bread on a lined baking sheet and top with the cheddar, bake until cheese is melted and slightly brown.

7.  Ladle soup into bowls or a soup tureen, top with cheese croutons and garnish with chopped thyme.


This recipe is for personal use and enjoyment only.