Small Girl, Big Ideas

'American' Onion Soup Revisited


 AKA French onion soup using fall ingredients found in America. I have actually posted this before. It's okay - you can see it here - I had no detailed imagery, apparently told you to use too much salt (I don't measure unless I am photographing and ensuring for the blog, and this was done before I did that!), and had one sub par image of what I consider to be the most delicious dish I make. It takes awhile, I'll say, but it downright yummy. So here it is!

Also - vote for this on Modcloth here!


What You'll Need (2 small changes makes this vegetarian and it's gooooddd)
A soup pot or a 3-4 Qt Sauce Pot for smaller servings (I just half the recipe) 
Any mix of 5 onions (I use 3 Yellow/Vidalia Onions, 2 Red Onion,) 
Unpasteurized Apple Cider (Can't find any? My husband swears by using Woodchuck Amber) 
All Purpose Flour (I use Whole Wheat Stone Ground)
Nutritional Yeast
Beef Stock & Beef Broth (I use Swanson's easier) OR Vegetable Stock for vegetarian
Seasoned Salt 
Unsalted Butter 
White Pepper 
 Bay Leaves (about 5) 
 A Dry White Wine (I use the kind available in the grocery store) 
Worcestershire Sauce (Vegan/vegetarian if needed, get it here)
Garlic Powder
Crusty French Bread OR Garlic Croutons 
White Cheddar Cheese
Mozzarella cheese (I use Sargento's)

Melt 4 Tablespoons of butter in a soup pot (for reference, I halved the recipe during these images)


Chop the onions into thin slices, by cutting the top and bottom off the onion, then slicing in half, then into thin slices. You can put these aside in a bowl or on your cutting board. Really any amount of about 5 onions works - you could use all the same onion, but I prefer the taste of a few together.


Bring the heat up to a medium heat and put the onions in the melted butter. Coat them evenly with butter then sprinkle them with seasoned salt. I use maybe a teaspoon - just enough to lightly cover the onions.


You're going to want to caramelize the onions. When they start to stick, but not burn, pour in 1/2 cup of apple cider,


Cook most of the cider out of the onions until they almost look like they were before - see the below image for reference. You should basically have no liquid left. 


Add in 2 Tablespoons of flour and 2 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast and mix well.



Turn down to low/low medium heat and pour in 1/2 cup of beef stock and stir well.


You should create a sort of paste here - very very thick. This really helps mix in well and eliminate any flour clumps.


Pour in 2 cups of beef broth (PS 2.5 cups of veggie stock/broth works well too!!) and stir well. Add in 3-4 bay leaves and 1/4 cup white wine.


Add in a tablespoon (or 4 teaspoons like I did) of Worcestershire sauce and salt, pepper, and garlic to taste! Then simmer for about 20 minutes.


While you are simmering - prepare your bowls! If you are using block cheese, you'll need to grate it. If you are using french bread, put in the oven on low to dry it out a bit, then rip it into small pieces. I've taken to using croutons these days.


Turn your oven to broil. Layer in some croutons (5-10, I like less) and then pour over the finished soup in an oven safe container. Sprinkle with about 1/4 cup of cheeses. I used Gruyere, cheddar, and mozzarella here.


Broil for 3-6 minutes (watch it!) and then remove carefully and you are done! Yum yum!



  1. Mmm! I've always wanted to try making french onion soup but have been scared. You make it look easy :)

  2. I am not the biggest fan of french onion soup but everyone else in my family loooves it, I will definitely be passing this recipe on to them :)

  3. Looks delicious :)

    xo Amber P.

  4. Thanks for the recipe! I've never actually had French (or American) onion soup, but my boyfriend has mentioned it as something he'd like me to make..


  5. This is my favorite soup every. I need to try this!


  6. Looks like a really great recipe! Thanks for sharing! :)

  7. I love onion soup! It's yummy this time of year! Thanks for sharing Katherine.

  8. omg I love french onion soup! It's soooo tasty. =D This looks so delicious!

  9. I am not fond of onion soup but this might convert me!

  10. French onion soup is my favoriteeee but I usually can't find a vegetarian version out. I have been meaning to try it at home and I will for sure be using this. My stomach is rumbling in anticipation look SO GOOD! Thanks girl, hope you had a great weekend!
    xo Hannah
    p.s. Got my sailor dress back this weekend, thanks!

  11. That looks good. I find it surprising that you put yeast in it...what does that do/add?


    1. Nutritional yeast isn't really yeast - it's inactive. You could replace the yeast with another 2 Tablespoons of flour by the by, but the nutritional yeast doesn't clump, adds some extra protein (especially helpful for the vegetarians as it provides really good B12 vitamins), adds thickness, and gives it a nice savory taste. Nutritional yeast is often referred to primarily as a vegan Parmesan cheese substitute, but it's not at all like that. It's nearly impossible to describe, but a lot of natural food stores sell it in bulk so you can pick up a cup and try putting it in a soup in place of some of the flour - it will change your life!

  12. YUM! One of my favorite things to eat when it's cold out!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  13. Thank you for the recipe and actual reminder to make one - I've been meaning to do it for ages!

    Have a great day!

  14. Looks delicious! I love french onion soup any my boyfriend has been asking if I could make some soups for him to take for lunch so perfect timing :)

    xo Jenny

  15. That looks really Great and delicious! I have to try this! Thanks for sharing

    Love Storm

  16. This sounds perfect right about now!!
    xo TJ

  17. what a perfect fall soup! If only it weren't in the 90s this week... I just want it to be cold :(


  18. Yum, yum, yum. Looks so good and perfect for cold nights! I'm going to try this.

    Thanks Katherine! :D


  19. Well, it still looks divine, and I'm glad you posted the updated version! I'm also diggin' your new blog layout!

  20. Do you think it would taste good made vegan? I'm tempted!

    My Painted Bird

  21. Sounds yammy! I looove soups during fall

    Inside and Outside Blog

  22. I love french onion soup - and this looks amazing!

    Pearls & Paws

  23. Mmmm looks amazing! Thanks for the heads up on the modcloth noms contest, what a nifty idea!

  24. OK, French Onion Soup is my absolute favorite soup and comfort food, ever. But the last 2 times I made it, I failed miserably. Your recipe looks really easy (thanks for all the photos!) so I may have to try it again this weekend :)

  25. I love onion soup! Thanks for the recipe!


  26. Talk about delicious looking! I'm going to have to give this a try!

  27. This looks so good! I love onion soup! Fun blog! I am now following, i'd love for you to check out mine!

  28. I love french onion soup so that looks so yummy! And by the way, I am liking the new layout :)

  29. This onion soup looks incredibly delicious! Thanks so much for the step by step instructions and fabulous photos! Fantastic!


  30. I am a bit obsessed with Panera's french onion soup so I have to try this - so great now that it's getting chilly out!

  31. I love that this can be made vegetarian!!! It looks so good.


  32. I never had it but my bf loves it, it is his fav xx

  33. oh wow that looks delicious! thanks for the recipe, it's a great idea serving them in little individual dishes too (especially if they happen to really be teacups!)

  34. Oh, yum! I will definitely have to try this this winter! Looks like a great recipe!

  35. I wish I liked onions because this looks amazing!

  36. I LOVE French onion soup! I'm inspired to make this for dinner tonight on this cold and rainy day :-)

  37. Wow, that looks sooo good! I will definitely be making that sometime soon. :) Thank you for an inspirational blog!


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