French Onion Soup - Alton Brown

"Alton Brown's recipe, from the episode "A Bowl Full of Onion""
photo by Vincent G. photo by Vincent G.
photo by Vincent G.
Ready In:
2hrs 5mins




  • Trim the ends off each onion then slice from end to end. Remove peel and finely slice into half moon shapes. Set electric skillet to 300 degrees and add butter. Once butter has melted add a layer of onions and sprinkle with a little salt. Repeat layering onions and salt until all onions are in the skillet. Do not try stirring until onions have sweated down for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, stir occasionally until onions are dark mahogany and reduced to approximately 2 cups. This should take 45 minutes to 1 hour. Do not worry about burning.
  • Add enough wine to cover the onions and turn heat to high, reducing the wine to a syrup consistency. Add consume, chicken broth, apple cider and bouquet garni. Reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Place oven rack in top 1/3 of oven and heat broiler.
  • Cut country bread in rounds large enough to fit mouth of oven safe soup crocks. Place the slices on a baking sheet and place under broiler for 1 minute.
  • Season soup mixture with salt, pepper and cognac. Ladle soup into crocks leaving one inch to the lip. Place bread round, toasted side down, on top of soup and top with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

Questions & Replies

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  1. The apple cider makes it way too sweet.
    • Review photo by Vincent G.
  2. i don't know why i didn't rate this before - maybe because I made many changes (used as much fresh as possible, including spices, etc.) this is just wonderful!!! all in all, i think the reason why there are so many onions is because the idea is for the onions to be slices exceptionally thin - "go out and buy new knives" (which i did) thin. and, of course, we have to pay attention to the fact there is a loaf of bread involved - and it must be *toppest* quality (get those kneading gloves on). I throw so many mushrooms into the mix i'm surprised i can fit anything else - but i do - and even augment the published main increment to cover. this is the most annoying soup i make - but i make it often. thank you so much for publishing it!!!


  1. It's a little too sweet. The Apple Cider Is too much.


I'm a 48 y/o gay Jewish man in the suburbs immediately north of New York City. I'm a general internist, practicing and teaching at a medical college north of NYC. I also earned a Masters in Public Health degree in 2013. After a Walt Disney World trip in Dec 2006 where I had to rent an electric scooter because I couldn't manage the walking, I decided to have gastric bypass surgery, which was done Feb 28, 2007. I lost 160 lbs (though I've gained back about 60 of that since). I can't eat as much as I used to, so I want every bite to be extra good!
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