Tahoe recipe: Pop’s French onion soup — best dish in town

Simone Grandmain
Special to the Bonanza
This French onion soup reminds us it is, in fact, winter.
Courtesy Simone Grandmain |

OK. We don’t have snow. But it is still (a little) cold. This soup reminds us it is, in fact, winter. My father has become famous for this onion soup.

It might make it on to the Super Bowl menu. But that won’t go with my theme, which will be New England-based, and I don’t think Tom Brady eats this before the big game.


1/2 cup unsalted butter

6 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

8 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as necessary

1 cup dry white wine

4 cups beef stock

2 cups chicken broth

1 and 1/2 cups cubed rustic French bread

3 cups grated Gruyere cheese

1 tbls. flour


In a large heavy-bottom pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the sliced onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the onions become a deep golden brown and very soft, about 30 minutes.

Add the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the white wine and scrape up any dry bits on the bottom of the pan, increasing the heat to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beef stock, and the chicken stock, and allow the soup to simmer for an additional 30 minutes as the flavors develop. Season the soup generously with salt, and pepper, to taste.

Preheat the oven to broil, or turn on the broiler. Arrange the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast until crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs and pour the soup into 4 to 6 oven-safe crocks or bowls. Top with the toasted bread cubes and a generous amount of grated Gruyere.

Place the crocks or bowls under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and begins to brown.

— Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news at

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