This German Onion Soup Recipe, or Ueberbackene Zwiebelsuppe in Germany, is a light-colored cousin to the darker French onion soup that is traditionally made with beef broth, red or white wine and finished with a few tablespoons of Cognac.
The German version uses chicken or vegetable broth as a soup base and the pan is deglazed with white wine. Use the broth you make with your leftover vegetables, as described here. A grating of nutmeg and some Swiss cheese finishes the soup.
Even though many people use the onion soup as an excuse for eating the bubbling cheese crouton broiled on top, truth be told, this recipe gives you a full serving of vegetables.
Makes 4 servings of German Onion Soup.
- 2 cups (4 medium or 2 large) onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 quart vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- Optional: 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Optional: 2 fresh bay leaves
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg (or to taste)
- Dash freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
- Dash salt (if broth needs it, to taste)
- 4 slices French bread (or 1 roll cut into 8 slices)
- 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese (or Gouda)
- Sauté 2 cups sliced onions in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until they start turning golden brown. Stir occasionally.
- Add 3/4 cup dry white wine, then 1 quart vegetable broth or chicken broth. You might want to add fresh thyme sprigs or bay leaf to the soup (but remember to remove them before serving), but this is completely optional. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Grate some fresh nutmeg into the soup and add some pepper. Taste and add salt, if necessary. (With unsalted, homemade broth, I add 1 teaspoon salt.)
- While soup is cooking, toast the 8 slices of bread under a broiler or in a toaster oven (or in a conventional countertop toaster).
- To serve, scoop some soup into an oven-safe individual bowl, add a slice of toasted bread, sprinkle 2 tablespoons grated cheese over it and put the bowls on a cookie sheet and broil until cheese melts and turns an attractive brown.
- Be careful when serving and eating as the soup and the bowls are very hot.
- Tip: This is a great soup to make ahead and reheat.
Note: Check out the difference between stock and broth here.