French onion soup with cheese toasts

Total Time
1 hr 12 min
15 min
57 min
This rich, much-loved soup is easy to serve in individual ovenproof soup bowls. Use small casserole dishes if you don’t have ovenproof soup bowls.


Unsalted butter

1 Tbsp

Uncooked vidalia onion(s)

3 large, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise

Vegetable broth

6 cup(s), low-sodium

Red wine

4 fl oz, dry

Bay leaf

1 leaf/leaves

Dried thyme

¼ tsp, or 1 fresh sprig

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

French bread

5 oz, cut into 16 rounds

Low-fat Swiss cheese

1 cup(s), shredded, part-skim, Jarlsberg cheese

Shredded parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp


  1. Melt the butter in a nonstick Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and well softened, about 12 minutes.
  2. Add the broth, wine, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and thyme.
  3. Preheat the broiler. Place the bread rounds on a baking sheet and broil 5 inches away from the heat until toasted, about 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Place 4 rounds of bread in each of 4 ovenproof soup bowls. Add the onion soup (about 1 1⁄2 cups for each bowl). Sprinkle evenly with the Swiss cheese, then the Parmesan cheese.
  5. Stand the bowls on the baking sheet and broil 5 inches from the heat until the cheese melts and is light golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  6. Yields 1 bowl per serving.


Vidalia onions are especially sweet and good for caramelizing here, but you can substitute 6 medium regular onions, if you like. For a special treat and an extra 1/2 POINT per serving, stir in 3 tablespoons of cognac during the last minute of simmering the soup.Getting the onions golden is essential for good flavor and color in onion soup. If necessary, raise the heat and cook the onions a little longer, until they become truly golden. Simmering the soup uncovered for 30 minutes reduces the broth and intensifies the flavors—you should be left with about 6 cups of soup.