You can use a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) OR a slow cooker to make this easy French Onion Soup recipe from Tieghan Gerard—the gal behind popular Instagram account @halfbakedharvest.
"A cheesy bowl of French onion soup is one of life's greatest pleasures," Tieghan says. "Even people who claim not to enjoy onions still love it. In fact, I've served up many a bowl to family members who 'hate' onions but love this soup. The one thing I dislike about French onion soup is standing over the stove for an hour tending to the onions, so I figured out a way to eliminate that tedious step by using an Instant Pot (pressure cooker) or Crock-Pot (slow cooker). You can make it in under an hour with an Instant Pot—OR let your slow cooker do the work of caramelizing the onions without having to stand by and continuously stir them. It’s the easiest way to deliver a soup that is deep in flavor, thanks to the low and slow cooking time. Either variation is delicious—just be sure to never skip the final step: the cheesy bread is my favorite part!"
Try out another super-easy comfort food recipe from Tieghan: Spinach & Artichoke Mac & Cheese Bake
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest Super Simple by Tieghan Gerard. Copyright © 2019 by Tieghan Gerard. Used with permission by Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved.
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2 quarts low-sodium beef or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 slices French bread
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
For the Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) method:
In the pressure cooker pot, combine the butter, onions, shallots, and honey and stir to combine. Lock the lid in place and cook on manual for 20 minutes. Quick or natural release, then open when the pressure subsides.
Using the sauté function, stir in the thyme, sage and flour and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, broth, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Lock the lid into place and cook on manual for 10 minutes more. Quick or natural release, then open when the pressure subsides. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
Preheat the broiler.
Divide the soup among 6 oven-safe bowls. Add a slice of bread to each and top evenly with cheese. Place the bowls on a baking sheet and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Top with thyme leaves.
For the Slow Cooker method:
To the slow cooker pot, add the butter, onions, shallots, and honey and stir to combine. Cook on low until the onions are caramelized, stirring once or twice, 4 to 6 hours.
Add the thyme, sage, and flour and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine, broth, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook 4 to 5 hours more on low, or 2 to 3 hours more on high. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.