French onion soup is a bistro favorite for a good reason. The combination of a deep-savory onion-packed broth with a cheesy, browned crouton makes it a comforting, satisfying dish.
The crouton will soften as it sits in broth. This allows you to enjoy cheesy, bready goodness every time you take a bite.
This pressure cooker version is ready in less than an hour.
It will also stay hot on the warming setting of your pressure cooker for hours. This means you can make the soup whenever it suits you. Then, add the cheesey toasts right before serving.
How to make French Onion Soup in the Pressure Cooker
You can speed up the process of caramelizing onions in your pressure cooker’s high “sautee” setting to make French onion soup. It takes only half an hour for them become sticky and sweet.
To kickstart the sweating process , I add salt and sugar to the onions. Instant pot can be used as a non-pressure cooker lid or any other 9-inch tempered or metal lid.
Next, caramelize the onions for 20 more minutes with the lid closed, stirring occasionally until they are golden brown.
Now, add all the ingredients to the pot and pressure cook for 5 minutes. This softens the onions and helps you to combine all the flavors.
The soup is now ready to be served.
- Are you new to the Instant Pot Learn how to use the Instant Pot for the first time.
French Onion Soup: The Best Onions
Yellow or red onions work equally well. Regular onions are better than the sweet varieties because they have more flavor.
The Best Bread to Make French Onion Soup
Traditional French baguettes are made from French bread, but you could also use sourdough for a more tangy flavor. Soup should be served with crusty bread.
French Onion Soup with the Best Cheese
Let’s face it, any cheese melts when layered on top of a slice of bread.
Gruyere is the traditional cheese. That’s why I used it here. The beefy, oniony broth is complemented by its nutty, slightly sweet flavor. Jarlsberg, Emmental or any other Swiss cheese can be substituted for Gruyere. A sharp cheddar would also be delicious.
French Onion Soup: What to Eat
French onion soup is a great first course to a roast chicken meal. This soup is also delicious as an afternoon snack or light lunch, either on its own or with some lightly seasoned greens (and perhaps some additional cheesy Croutons).
French Onion Soup: Storing and Freezing
The soup will keep in the refrigerator for approximately five days. You can heat the soup in the microwave or on the stovetop, then add bread and cheese to the soup and broil it before serving.
You can freeze French onion soup separately from bread and cheese if you want to save time.
I prefer to freeze using a silicone mini loaf pan. Once the soup has frozen solid, place the pan on a baking sheet. Then, take the “loaves” of soup out of the pan and put them in a freezer-safe bag. These will thaw quicker than if the soup was frozen in large blocks. You can also reheat the soup in individual portions in a microwave-safe bowl or on the stovetop.
Instant Pot French Onion Soup
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME – 65 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 75 minutes
SERVINGS: 6 portions
6 cups of YIELD
Broiler-safe bowls are not necessary. Toast the bread separately and then add one slice of cheese to each soup bowl before serving.
Here’s the recipe for the soup
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter or vegetable oil
- 2 1/2-3 yellow/red onions, halved and peeled. Slice 1/4-inch thick
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup dry sherry or vermouth
- 4 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 12 teaspoon dried Thymeleaves, or 12 teaspoon fresh Thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 (one-inch thick) Slices from a baguette
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- The cooking time should be set:Choose the high saute setting for your pressure cooker. The Instant Pot or similar models should set the cooking timer to 30 minutes. To saute the onion, you will need every minute.
- Combine the fat with the onions and caramelize themThe butter or oil should be added to the pressure cooker. After the butter or oil has melted, approximately 2 minutes, add the onions and sugar to the pressure cooker. Stir with a wooden spoon until the onion layers are separated and coated with the fat.
Place the lid of a tempered glass or 9-inch pot lid over the pot and allow the onions to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Cover the pot again and continue to cook the onions.Cover the pot. The onions should now be softened but not brown. There should still be liquid in the bottom.
Wear an oven mitt to hold the inner pot’s rim in place. Then, vigorously stir the onions. You must be careful not to splash any hot liquid onto yourself.
Continue stirring the onions vigorously for 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape any brown bits or fonds from the bottom of your pot with your spoon. Continue this process until the saute cook program is completed after 30 minutes, and then the pot will turn off automatically.
The onions should now be golden brown and caramelized.
- Cook the soup in pressure cooker.Add the sherry to the pot while it is still hot. To thoroughly scrape the bottom of the pot, use a wooden spoon.
Incorporate the broth, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, pepper, and thyme. Place the pressure cooker lid in the sealing position. Next, select the manual setting and set the timer for 5 minutes at high.
Before the cooking program can begin, it will take approximately 10 minutes for the pot to get up to pressure.
- Let go of the pressure and get ready to serve.Let the pressure naturally release for at least 15 mins, and then turn the pressure release valve on “venting” in order to let out any steam.
The soup will remain hot on the “Keep Warm” setting for approximately 10 hours until it is ready to be served.
The bay leaf should be removed when you are ready for the soup to be served. Season the soup by tasting it. If necessary, add salt or pepper to taste.
- Toast the soup and serve it with the remaining ingredients.Pre-heat the oven to broil and then line a baking sheet using aluminum foil. Broiler-safe bowls for serving on the baking sheet. Ladle the soup into the bowls and fill them up to 1/2 inch above the top.
The baguette slices should be lightly coated with Dijon mustard (about 1/4 teaspoon per slice). Next, place the baguette pieces on top of the soup bowls.
Place a heap of Gruyere cheese on each baguette piece. Add a few grinds of black pepper to each slice. Broil for about 3-5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.