When made well, French Onion soup is a God Tier soup. When made poorly, it is a conveyance to an evening of farts. This is why it’s crucial to have a good recipe.
The biggest thing about traditional methods of making French Onion Soup is that every recipe reads like a massive pain in the ass, because of how long it takes to brown off the onions. People scrimp on time, as a result, and well, welcome to fart town.
The basis for this recipe is J Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup recipe. I chose this one as the starting point because it has timings for the Pressure Cooker. Except, like every recipe for caramelizing onions, I have found it consistently underestimates the time required.
Kenji’s recipe also includes Fish Sauce, which I’m not wild about, and Apple Cider Vinegar. I’ve made substitutions I prefer and have bumped up the umami with some different ingredients.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for toasts (3 ounces; about 90g)
- 3 pounds onions , sliced 1/8 inch thick (I use white and red)
- 1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking soda
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup (120ml) dry sherry
- 1 quart (about 1L) low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 quart (about 1L) low-sodium beef stock
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon (5ml) Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Light Chinese Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) sherry vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon MSG (yes, really. You don’t have to, but it’s better)