Savory onion soup in a serving bowl topped with croutons.

Savory Onion Soup

This hearty, sophisticated and savory onion soup is so good that it will make you tear up. Of course, that could be from the delicious sweet onions that are the star of this recipe.

Back in 2010, my family and I went to a Thanksgiving buffet where we enjoyed the most amazing onion soup. The onions were cut into threads and the soup had an sophisticated and complex flavor. It took some experimenting, but I was finally able to come up with a soup that mimics that amazing taste we experienced more than a decade ago.

Savory Onion Soup

What makes this soup so special is the way that the onions are thinly sliced and broken into threads, infused with vinegar and thyme, and slowly cooked over low heat until they are soft and savory. This soup is delicious when eaten on its own, but it can also be used as the basis for other recipes. Check out our recipe for Salisbury Steaks that use this onion soup as a base for the sauce.

15 Minutes 2 Hours 45 Minutes 8 Servings
PREP 15 Minutes
COOKING 2 Hours 45 Minutes
YIELD 8 Servings
Savory onion soup in a serving bowl topped with croutons.


  • 3 medium to large white onions
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP salted butter
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup red cooking wine (50 ml)
  • 8 cups beef consommé (1600 ml)
Onion Soup Ingredients


  • Peel: Slice the top of each onion using a sharp knife while leaving the bottom alone. Peel off the paper-like outer layer of each onion.
  • Slice: Slice each onion into thin discs, parallel to the ends. Discard the end piece.
  • Mix: Place the onion in a large bowl. Mix by hand and lightly separate the onion into thin rings. Don’t worry if all the discs are not completely separated.

  • Sauté: Coat the bottom a soup stock pot with 2 TBSP olive oil. On medium heat, add the garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add the butter and melt. Mix in the onions and continue to sauté on medium heat for another 5 minutes until the onions start to soften most of the discs are completely separated.
  • Simmer: Add thyme, bay leaf and balsamic vinegar to the onions. Continue to sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the bay leaf and stir. Cover and simmer for an additional 20 minutes until the onions are softened and mostly covered by liquid.
  • Boil: Mix in beef consommé, cooking wine and Worcestershire sauce. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a light boil.

  • Simmer: Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for two hours.
  • Serve: Serve, salt and pepper to taste.  Top with croutons if desired.


  • Use this soup as an ingredient in other recipes. Such as Salisbury steak.
  • ‘If you are a vegetarian, no problem.  Replace the beef stock with your favorite vegetable stock or dashi.

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