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Sunday Suppers with Lunchbox Love–Caramelized Balsamic-Red Onion Soup with Cheese-Topped Croutons

Autumn is definitely my favorite season. The days are cooler but not quite cold. The nights are longer but not too long. The leaves are still on the trees but even more beautiful with all the colors. After a day of apple picking or leaf raking, a hearty soup is one of the best ways to feed our bodies. This onion soup, from Serious Eats, is a family favorite around here, especially the toasted cheesy bread soaked through with all the oniony goodness.

Caramelized Balsamic-Red Onion Soup with Cheese-Topped Croutons

(recipe and image from Serious Eats)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
6 large red onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
6 cups water
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 slices French bread
3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese

Heat a large pot over medium heat for one minute. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan, and then add the butter. Once it melts, add the sliced onions and salt, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and mustard, stir well, and cook for five minutes.

Pour in the six cups of water, and turn the heat to high. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and cook for five minutes. Carefully remove the sheet, and turn on the broiler. Divide the cheese between the slices of bread. Set the sheet under the broiler for however long it takes to melt the cheese, about 30 seconds. Remove the sheet, turn off the heat, and set aside.

Season the soup with black pepper and, if needed, more salt. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a crouton. Serve immediately.

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