Winter’s coming. (name that HBO series). As the cold weather approaches, we’re thinking about wonderful soup recipes to try this year. It’s comfort food in a bowl, or in this case, a cup. Our French Onion Soup made in the instant pot is fairly easy to make, with hearty ingredients to warm your soul. Grab the recipe down below!
Instant Pot Recipe | French Onion Soup
When is the last time you spoiled yourself with something delicious? Well, if you are a diehard foodie like me, it probably was yesterday or maybe as recently as an hour ago. But that’s the perks of being “about that foodie life,” right? We’re always game for entertaining ourselves with the best of the best when it comes to our foodie experiences.
Making French Onion Soup in the Instant Pot
For the past couple of weeks, I have discovered the ease and simplicity of making homemade French Onion Soup in our Instant Pot. Before my discovery, for some strange reason, I was under the impression that French Onion Soup was a complicated process attempted by professional chefs and the like. But after doing a bit of research, I learned otherwise. My biggest dilemma, deciding whether to use red wine or the traditional sherry. Either works, but I decided upon using the red wine, and I am glad that I did. The wine added an incredibly rich flavor, and if you’re a foodie, it is pretty much all about the flavor!
One of the reasons I have fallen in love with this recipe is how easy it is to make, nothing too complicated about it all, and that’s always a good characteristic when it comes to any recipes.
My version of French onion soup started with me looking in the fridge and pantry. I had leeks on hand, and since leeks are a part of the onion family, I figured why not. Plus, leeks are milder and sweeter than a yellow onion, and with two tablespoons of butter, I was on my way. I wish you could smell what’s going on here; the aroma of leeks cooking in unsalted sweet cream butter is so freakin’ good!
Next, I removed the leeks and added four large sweet Vidalia onions, these were sliced thin using a mandolin, and I added two more tablespoons of unsalted sweet butter. There are two crucial keys to making perfect caramelized onions, and that is cooking them slow and low, and of course, quality butter doesn’t hurt either. Sauté the sliced onions for twenty-five to thirty minutes. The onions should be browned, soft, and I prefer mine with crispy edges. Getting the onions cooked down is the heart and soul of this French Onion Soup.
Next, transfer the caramelized onions into a large bowl along with the sautéed leeks. Add one tablespoon of butter into the Instant Pot. When the butter is melted, scatter three tablespoons of flour into the Instant Pot and continue to cook the butter and flour mixture until it loses its raw flour taste, about three minutes. Continue to cook the flour and add one tablespoon of coarse sea salt and half of a tablespoon of freshly ground black peppercorns.
Pro-tip. The longer you cook the roux, the more intense flavor you will achieve. Also, cooking roux requires you to stir the roux to ensure it doesn’t burn. Traditionally there are three roux types: a white roux, a blond roux, and a dark roux. The two ingredients for roux are using an equal weight of flour and fat; in this case, the fat of choice is butter. Here, we are using three tablespoons of flour and three tablespoons of butter. I made a slightly darker blond roux which took between 12 and 15 minutes.
It’s not unusual to find lots of French Onion Soup recipes utilizing wine. I used what I had on hand, a lovely 2016 Bourboux, which worked perfectly. Plus, the wine adds more liquid volume than the sherry would.
I also made additional caramelized onions to serve atop the slices of the toasted French baguette.
Which cheese to use in a French Onion Soup Recipe
Although traditional French Onion Soup calls for Gruyère cheese which isn’t a French-produced cheese, go figure. But I raised the bar and used a cave-aged Gruyère variety which was so much better than the regular Gruyère, so worth the additional expenditure. You can also use a good Parmesan or Emmenthal.
Although I toasted the Gruyère and caramelized onion topped baguette sliced in the oven using a high broil setting, I employed my handy chef’s torch to add the finishing touch of adding a bit of char on the additional cheese.
Why this French Onion Soup is different from the rest.
This French Onion Soup has lots of intense flavors; it’s a bit heartier than a classic version with bits of leeks, hints of garlic, and the additional caramelized onions. I also served the soup in these beautiful Rae Dunn mugs, a nice homey touch.
With minimal ingredients, you will be slurping this delicious and perfectly suited for fall soup in no time flat.
And this toasted baguette loaded with caramelized onion and melted Gruyère cheese is perfect for dippin’. But don’t take my word for it, this one you will have to try for yourself, and I don’t think you will mind at all. Bon appétit!
How to make French Onion Soup in the Instant Pot
- 2 leeks, sliced thin
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 4 large sweet Vidalia onion, sliced + 1 large sweet onion for the baguette toast
- 1 stick unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 2 quarts unsalted beef stock
- 1 1/2 cups red wine, I used a 2016 Bordeaux
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
- 1 large sweet Vidalia onion, sliced and caramelized for the French baguette
- 2-4 slices French baguette, sliced and toasted
- 1 cup Gruyère cave-aged or traditional
- Prep the leeks by removing most of the green tops and slicing them into thin slices. Use a mandoline and slice five (5) sizeable sweet Vidalia onions. Set one sliced onion aside to use for the baguettes and for finishing the soup. Peel 3 large cloves of garlic and mince.
- Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and press the Sauté function and add a tablespoon of unsalted butter. When the butter is melted, add the leeks and minced garlic. Add a pinch of each coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black peppercorns. Continue to sauté until the leeks are slightly translucent and softened. Use a slotted spoon to remove the leeks and garlic, place them into a large mixing bowl.
- Add two more tablespoons of unsalted butter. When the butter has melted, add the four large sliced sweet onions and continue to sauté until the onions are browned and caramelized for about 35 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the caramelized onions into the bowl with the leeks and garlic.
- Add three tablespoons of butter into the Instant Pot and continue to use the Sauté setting. When the butter has melted, use a whisk and add the three tablespoons of flour. Continue to whisk until the roux is slightly darker than a blond color, about 12 minutes. Add a tablespoon of coarse sea salt and a half tablespoon of freshly cracked peppercorns, little by little, begin adding the red wine to the roux, and continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth. Keep adding wine until the mixture is thin without any clumps. Add the remaining wine and begin to pour in the beef stock. Add the caramelized onions, leeks, and minced garlic to the mixture.
- Place a medium-size skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat, add two tablespoons of unsalted butter. Slice the remaining large sweet onion and add it to the melted butter. Add a pinch of sea salt and cook for 25 minutes until the onions are caramelized.
Toasted baguette loaded with caramelized onion and melted Gruyère cheese.
- To make the toast, spread softened unsalted sweet cream butter or olive oil to both sides of a one-inch thick slice of French baguette.
- Place a skillet over med-high heat. When the skillet is hot, toast both sides of the bread until they are golden brown.
- Remove the toast from the skillet and place the toast on a cutting board.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of shaved Gruyère cheese to each slice of bread and melt the cheese using a chef’s torch.
- Top each cheesy slice of toasted bread with caramelized onions and serve with steaming cups or bowls of the French Onion Soup.
This is one French Onion Soup recipe to keep around when the temperature begins to drop! So good!
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