Cheese-Smothered Onion Soup

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This savory soup will warm you upon cold blustery days. The assertive flavor of onions mellows and sweetens when cooked until golden. This classic makes an easy transition from an everyday dish to an entertainment standout.

NotesThe onion soup base can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Hate shedding tears when chopping onions? To minimize the weeping problem, use a razor-sharp knife to prevent loss of juices and cover the cut onions with a paper towel as you chop them to prevent the vapors from rising to your eyes.

Serves6 (1 ½ cups/375 mL per serving)

Cooking Methodbroiling


Total Timeunder 1 hour

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursehot appetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner, lunch


Taste and Texturebubbly, buttery, cheesy, savory

Type of Dishhot soup


  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) soft margarine or butter
  • 8 cups (about 2 to 3) (2 L) thinly sliced Spanish onions
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) all purpose flour
  • 3 cups (750 mL) reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 3 cups (750 mL) water
  • 6 slices French bread, about ¾-inch (2 cm) thick
  • 1½ cups (500 mL) shredded light Swiss cheese


  1. In a Dutch oven or large heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, thyme and pepper; cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until onions are tender and a rich golden color. Blend in flour; stir in broth and water. Bring to a boil, stirring until thickened. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, position oven rack 6 inches (15 cm) from broiler; preheat broiler.

  3. Arrange bread slices on baking sheet; place under broiler and toast on both sides.

  4. Place toasts in deep ovenproof soup bowls; sprinkle with half the cheese. Arrange bowls in large shallow baking pan. Ladle hot soup into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place under broiler for 3 minutes or until cheese melts and is lightly browned. Serve immediately.


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