This is certainly not your Traditional French Onion Soup. It has a slight Italian twist to it; and by twist I mean the wine and bread. This is soup is phenomenal for rainy days, winter days, bad days, good days, any kind of day.
I love French onion soup, but I often find it hard to find a vegetarian version at restaurants. So I set out on a mission to create the best French Onion Soup.
I use garlic and two types of onions, which provides loads of flavour.
For this dish I use an Instant Pot to create the “soup” part of it. I LOVE my Instant Pot, and it does most of the work for me which makes this soup perfect for lazy days when you don’t want to do too much. It will also caramelize the onions, which adds a layer of flavour. But I’m going to take it one step further and use two types of onions.
You can use any dry wine. I prefer a good red wine. I love Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine. This wine pairs perfectly with loads of cheeses, red meats, pizza, pasta, it’s a perfect wine! According to Kevin Zraly and his book, “Windows on the World Complete Wine Course” wine is from the Abruzzi region of Italy and uses the Montepulciano grape. If you haven’t read this book and you love wine, you should.
A white wine will give it a lighter feeling, but DO NOT use a sweet wine. Since your using sweet onions, you will want to balance out the flavours. I like using the white wines when I’m making this as an appetizer, but I rarely do that so I’m almost always red wine.
It’s rich, it’s bold, this recipe explodes with flavour! What more could you ask for?! This recipe made 3 large bowls of soup or 5-6 smallish cups.
- 2 Vidalia Onions
- 2 Sweet Onions
- 3 Cloves of Garlic, 2 minced 1 small clove set aside for the bread.
- 4 cups of vegetable stock
- 1/3 cup of a dry wine, my fave is Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine, but any red/white wine will do.
- 2 tbsp of whiskey
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp of butter
- 1 tsp of thyme leaves
- 1 slice of italian bread per serving.
- salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded Swiss Cheese or Gruyère Cheese, or both.
Note on the cheese: Trader Joe’s sells a shredded blend of these. Also I really don’t know how much I use, just enough to cover the top
Slice the all 4 onions in half long ways, so the roots are on both half. I’ve been told this helps keep the tears away. Then slice the onions vertically from the root to the tip of the onion, so you get nice strips of onion.
Combine this, the minced garlic, 3 cups of the Vegetable stock, the wine, vinegar, and butter in the Instant Pot.
Instant pot settings:
- not venting
- low pressure
- 20 min
Let this cook for 15 min. At the 5 min mark turn the valve to let the pressure out. Whilst this is happening, butter you bread on both sides. I like thick slices so they soak up the broth. Now toast this on a medium high heat so it’s golden brown on both sides. Rub the garlic clove on the toasted bread for a garlicky finish. I don’t usually measure the slices because 9/10 times a slice of bread fits in to my bowl. The times it does, I break that piece up and just add it to the soup under the larger piece.
By now the instant pot should have released all the pressure. Give this a good stir. Depending on the wine you use, the soup may have a reddish tint. This will depend on the vintage of the wine and the berries used to make it. Give this a good stir and add the remaining broth.
Give it a good Ladle out enough soup to fill your bowl. Top with the bread and add the cheese on top. Bake in the oven at 450 degrees F for 20 min. or until the cheese is bubbly and baked.
Now comes the best part. Curl up on the couch with you soup in a bowl cozy and take that plunge into the soup. Breaking through that cheese layer, cutting into that bread, and going for that perfect first bite.