Brown onion soup
5th July 2010

Brown onion soup

By Sara Photography by Emma

My ex-flatmate and friend Cat used to make brown onion soup on a cold winter night.  It was so lovely to come home to caramelising onions and sweet balsamic; such a comforting aroma which made the house feel warm and homely.
By looking just at the ingredients, it may look like a recipe from the famine, but the taste is refined and dignified.
Before adding the stock, the onions can be cooled and refrigerated for pizza, tarts, quiche etc.


8-10 with bread
  • --
  • 10 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • ¼ c oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 glasses white wine
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 10 c beef stock
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


      • --
      • 1. Slice the onions and finely dice the garlic.
      • 2. Heat the oil and butter in a large sauce pan. Saute the onions and garlic, then reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
      • 3. Increase the heat, pour in the wine and balsamic and cook for a couple of minutes.
      • 4. Then add the beef stock, stir and simmer the soup for 20 minutes.
      • 5. Add seasoning to taste and serve with gruyere croutons or gruyere and black pepper baguette as in my next post.


        1. tww

          How much is ‘one glass’?

        2. Sara

          A standard glass of wine is 100ml in New Zealand so for 2 glasses use about 200-250ml.

        3. Wendy

          I tried this soup today but as with just about everything I make it was a disarster.
          I cut up the 10 onions and put in the garlic. I sauted both and then put in the wine and balsimic vinegar. During this process I came to the realisation that my pan wasn’t big enough for the liquid to fit. Not only that but I didn’t have enough beef stock.

          I carried on with what I had and we’ve just eaten it. It was sort of ok, just a bit winey and balsamy. ;-) .

          If I make it again I will halve the recipe

        4. Sara

          Oh that’s a shame Wendy! It really needs the full 10 cups of beef stock to balance the wine and balsamic and also to submerge the onions.
          Do try it again with half the recipe or freeze the leftovers.

        5. manchanayaka k.d

          pls…..tell me the what are the different brown onion and french onion soup

        6. Sara

          Hi I’m pretty sure French onoin soup and brown onion soup refer to the same soup which is a consomme with sweated onions and topped with a cheese crouton. As opposed to onion soup which is usually cream based.
          Thanks, Sara

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