Annika Eats

Instant Pot French Onion Soup

A rich French onion soup filled with sliced onions, garlic, butter, thyme and stock. Simple and warming classic recipe for the cold winter days ahead. 

I finally got an Instant pot and I intend to make a bunch of recipes using this. A big shout out to Tavola for this fantastic Christmas gift. Having said this, I must say after Cream of Tomato soup I absolutely love a good French onion soup. I like my French onion soup on the lighter side but you can make it heavier, I will mention more details below. 

What ingredients do you need to make this Instant Pot French Onion Soup?

We need butter, olive oil, sliced onions, garlic, honey, fresh thyme, dried sage, bay leaf, black pepper, salt, cinnamon powder, vermouth, beef stock, water, vinegar, worcestershire sauce. Traditional French onion soup is served with cheese toasts that are made with baguette and gruyere cheese. However I used leftover panettone and whatever cheese I had to make them. 

What substitutes can you use in this Instant Pot French Onion Soup?

Red onions – 

I have used red onions as I prefer the color and intensity of flavor but you can use golden or yellow onions as well

Herbs –

Fresh thyme, dried works fine. Dried Sage, you can use any dried herbs you like.

Vermouth –

If you want to use white or red it doesn’t matter however if you want to omit the alcohol you can use the same amount of water.

Beef stock –

I have used fresh stock but you can use packet stock, stock cubes or stock powder. Check out my bone broth recipe to learn how to make broth at home. If you want to keep this vegetarian use vegetable stock and make sure it is the best you can find. 

Cheese for toasts-

Ideally you want to use a really good gruyere and melting cheese. I have used, cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella and because I ran out I used slice cheese for some of the toasts. Hence use what you like but make sure it melts well. 

What equipment do you need to make this Instant Pot French Onion Soup?

To make the soup I have used an instant pot, you ideally want to use any pressure cooker as this reduces the cooking time and makes a simple meal so much better but also extremely fast. As for the ingredients I prepared them with a knife and chopping board. Also we need a sauté pan for the grilled cheese, I broiled them under the grill in the oven for the cheese to get blistered but you can just finished in the pan with a lid so the cheese melts. 

How to make this Instant Pot French Onion Soup?

We start by place butter into the instant pot and switch it on. Choose the sauté option and make sure it is for 30 mins. As it heats up the butter will melt. We then add the herbs, bay leafs and stir well until we can smell it. Add the sliced onions, garlic and a little pinch of salt. Let this cook for a few minutes, stirring. Now reduce the stirring add the honey and let it begin to caramelize. We want the onions to get some sticky and charred bits. Hence stir every now and then, ideally you want to cover this with a heat proof lid. This will trap the moisture in the pot and soften the onions while caramelizing them and help them not to stick to the pot. 

Once the onions are soft and starting to get some color, add the vermouth and deglaze the pot, cook this without the lid so the alcohol can evaporate. This will take a few minutes. At this stage add the cinnamon powder, black pepper, salt, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, stock and water. By this time the 30 minutes should be over, we now choose the pressure cooking option and select 10 minutes. Cover the pot with the pressure cooking lid and seal it. Press start and let it do its thing. This recipe would ideally take a couple of hours to cook however in this instant pot it comes together in 40-45 minutes without compromising flavor. 

While this is happening make some cheese toasts, slice up your bread I have used leftover panettone, butter them and toast lightly in a pan over medium heat. Once golden, place your cheese on top of each slice add a little bit of water into the pan and cover with a lid, the steam will melt the cheese. Alternatively you can transfer the pan (make sure it is oven proof) into the oven under the grill to melt and color the cheese. This shouldn’t take more than 5-8 minutes under a high grill. 

The soup should be ready, turn the pressure cooker knob and let the steam release. Once its done. Open the lid and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve the soup hot with the cheese toast and more thyme. 

Storing the Instant Pot French Onion Soup?

The leftovers can be transferred to an air tight container and placed in the fridge for 4-5 days. I think the flavors develop with time hence this is a good make ahead recipe too. The cheese toasts are best had on that day itself. Also, you can freeze the soup for a month. 

How to clean the Instant Pot?

Once you are done cooking the soup, you can leave it in the pot as it does have a keep warm option. Also, the inside pot will be hot to touch so be careful. Further more, once the pot has cooled down, transfer the leftovers and soak the pot in hot water and soap. Let this sit for a few minutes before using a sponge to scrub and wash it. I would wipe the instant pot machine with a damp cloth and let it dry completely before closing it. 

Looking for more soup recipes? Check out my Tomato soup and Pumpkin soup recipes. Now that we have covered how to make this Instant Pot French Onion Soup, you can have a look at the recipe video on my socials but let’s get to it. Don’t forget to follow along for more holiday baking recipe inspiration. 

If you try this recipe out, don’t forget to share it with me on instagram so I can see how it turned out. I’d love nothing more than to chat with you on your cooking/baking.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup

A rich French onion soup filled with sliced onions, garlic, butter, thyme and stock. Simple and warming classic recipe for the cold winter days ahead.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup, Starter
Cuisine French
Servings 8 people

Equipment

  • Instant pot
  • Rubber spatula
  • Heat proof lid
  • Large saute pan
  • Oven

Ingredients
  

Soup -

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups Onions sliced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup vermouth
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Cheese toast -

  • 8 slices of bread
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup cheese grated/sliced check notes

Instructions
 

  • We start by place butter into the instant pot and switch it on. Choose the sauté option and make sure it is for 30 mins. As it heats up the butter will melt. We then add the herbs, bay leaves and stir well until we can smell it. Add the sliced onions, garlic and a little pinch of salt. Let this cook for a few minutes, stirring.
  • Now reduce the stirring add the honey and let it begin to caramelize. We want the onions to get some sticky and charred bits. Hence stir every now and then, ideally you want to cover this with a heat proof lid. This will trap the moisture in the pot and soften the onions while caramelizing them and help them not to stick to the pot.
  • Once the onions are soft and starting to get some color, add the vermouth and deglaze the pot, cook this without the lid so the alcohol can evaporate. This will take a few minutes.
  • Add the cinnamon powder, black pepper, salt, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, stock and water. By this time the 30 minutes should be over.
  • Now choose the pressure cooking option and select 10 minutes. Cover the pot with the pressure cooking lid and seal it. Press start and let it do its thing.
  • While this is happening make some cheese toasts, slice up your bread butter them and toast lightly in a pan over medium heat. Once golden, place your cheese on top of each slice add a little bit of water into the pan and cover with a lid, the steam will melt the cheese. Alternatively you can transfer the pan (make sure it is oven proof) into the oven under the grill to melt and color the cheese. This shouldn’t take more than 5-8 minutes under a high grill.
  • The soup should be ready, turn the pressure cooker knob and let the steam release. Once its done. Open the lid and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve the soup hot with the cheese toast and more thyme.

Notes

  • You can make this soup in a pressure cooker as well.
  • Cheese for toasts- Ideally you want to use a really good gruyere and melting cheese. I have used, cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella and because I ran out I used slice cheese for some of the toasts. Hence use what you like but make sure it melts well.

Comment