Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup Recipe (2024)

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J. Kenji López-Alt

Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup Recipe (1)

J. Kenji López-Alt

Culinary Consultant

Kenji is the former culinary director for Serious Eats and a current culinary consultant for the site. He is also a New York Times food columnist and the author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science.

Learn about Serious Eats'Editorial Process

Updated January 05, 2023

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Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup Recipe (2)

Why It Works

  • The pressure cooker makes quick work of breaking down the onions for fast caramelization.
  • Store-bought chicken stock is better than store-bought beef stock, with a cleaner, more natural meaty flavor that allows the onions to shine through.
  • Cider vinegar, and sherry add depth and complexity to the broth.

Traditional techniques for caramelizing onions can take hours to deliver extra-sweet, complex flavor. The pressure cooker reduces that time down to about 30 minutes of hands-off cooking. Finishing off those onions with sherry, stock, and some aromatics transforms them into a soul-satisfying classic French onion soup.

Use the Pressure Cooker for Quick Caramelized Onions and French Onion Soup | The Food Lab

January 2016

This recipe was cross-tested in 2022 and lightly updated to guarantee best results. There is no longer baking soda in the recipe.

Recipe Details

Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup Recipe

Prep15 mins

Cook75 mins

Active20 mins

Total90 mins

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for toasts (3 ounces; about 90g)

  • 3 poundsyellow or mixed onions, sliced 1/8 inch thick (1.4kg; about 4 to 5 large onions) (see note)

  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt, plus more to taste; for table salt, use half as much by volume

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) dry sherry, such as Amontillado

  • 2 quarts (about 2L)homemadeor store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7ml)cider vinegar

  • 16 bowl-size slices rustic bread, toasted until crisp

  • 1 medium clove garlic

  • 1 pound (450g) Gruyère cheese, grated

  • Freshly minced chives, for garnish

Directions

  1. Melt butter in an electric or stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat. Without stirring, add onions. Season with salt and pepper. Seal pressure cooker and heat to high pressure (12.5 to 15 psi). Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let the pressure release naturally (float valve will drop; this will take about 30 minutes.) Remove lid from cooker.

  2. Continue cooking with lid off, stirring constantly, until liquid inside has completely reduced and the onions are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add sherry and bring to a simmer. Cook until alcohol smell is mostly gone, about 3 minutes. Add stock, thyme, and bay leaf, raise heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

  3. To Serve: Preheat broiler and move oven rack to top position. Butter toasts and rub with garlic clove until fragrant. Spoon a small amount of broth into the bottoms of 8 ovenproof serving bowls, then top with half the toasts. Sprinkle some Gruyère on top of toasts, then spoon more soup and onions on top, nearly filling the bowls. Set the remaining 8 toasts in each bowl, pushing to nearly submerge them. Top with remaining Gruyère and set bowls on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until cheese is melted and browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Garnish with chives and serve.

  4. Add fish sauce, if using, and cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper (if necessary). Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

  5. To Serve: Preheat broiler and move oven rack to top position. Butter toasts and rub with garlic clove until fragrant. Spoon a small amount of broth into the bottoms of 4 ovenproof serving bowls, then top with half the toasts. Sprinkle some grated Gruyère on top of toasts, then spoon more soup and onions on top, nearly filling the bowls. Set the remaining 4 toasts in each bowl, pushing to nearly submerge them. Top with remaining grated cheese and set bowls on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until cheese is melted and browned in spots. Garnish with chives and serve.

Special equipment

Electric or stovetop pressure cooker, rimmed baking sheet

Notes

Yellow onions are your best all-purpose bet for this soup, but a mix of yellow, sweet (e.g., Vidalia), and red onions, as well as shallots, produces an even more complex flavor.

This Recipe Appears In

  • The Food Lab: Use the Pressure Cooker for Quick Caramelized Onions and French Onion Soup
  • Soups
  • French
  • Pressure Cooker
  • Gruyere
  • Onions
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
526Calories
29g Fat
41g Carbs
27g Protein

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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories526
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g37%
Saturated Fat 17g83%
Cholesterol 86mg29%
Sodium 1611mg70%
Total Carbohydrate 41g15%
Dietary Fiber 3g12%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 10mg52%
Calcium 654mg50%
Iron 3mg16%
Potassium 609mg13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup Recipe (2024)

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