Secret Ingredient French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup
Penny De Los Santos
  • Yield: 4 servings

One day I wondered what would happen if I added some molasses to the mix. The result is a soup with as much depth of flavor as its beef stock counterpart. And talk about quick and easy--the stock is made right in the pot, picking up all the flavors from the caramelized bits of onion.


4tablespoons unsalted butter
4large yellow onions, sliced
1 bay leaf
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1clove garlic, crushed
1tablespoon sherry vinegar
1tablespoon molasses
4 1-inch thick slices of baguette, toasted
4ounces Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded


  1. Melt the butter in a 6-quart stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and bay leaf and season with the salt and pepper to taste. Stir to coat well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften and become golden, about 15 minutes. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until the onions are very soft and browned, about 20 more minutes.
  2. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir, scraping up browned bits at the bottom of the pot. Raise the heat back to medium-high and slowly pour in 21/2 cups (675 ml) water. Add the garlic clove, sherry vinegar, and molasses, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, so the soup gently bubbles, and cook for 10 more minutes. Taste and season the soup with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  3. Preheat the broiler with the oven rack just under the broiler element. Evenly ladle the soup into 4 oven-safe bowls. Place one slice of toasted baguette on top of each serving of soup. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook until the cheese becomes golden and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes.

Gluten-Free Friendly Swap in toasted slices of your favorite gluten-free bread, and everyone can enjoy this soup.

Reprinted with permission from Jennifer Perillo’s Homemade with Love (Running Press, 2013).