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French Onion Soup

“No cruise through France is complete without a cup of this famous French onion soup—a highlight on many Uniworld river cruises.”

–Michel Knorr,
Uniworld Corporate Chef



  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
  • 6 large yellow onions (about 4 lbs [1 3/4 kg]), halved and cut top to bottom into 1/4-inch (3/5-cm) slices
  • Table salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine (recommended: Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Alsace Gewürztraminer)
  • 2 cups (475 ml) water, plus extra for deglazing
  • 4 cups (950 ml) chicken broth
  • 2 cups (475 ml) beef broth
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with twine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Madeira

Cheese Croutons:

  • 1 small baguette, cut into 1/2-inch (1 1/4-cm) slices and toasted on both sides (optional: Top the slices with garlic butter)
  • 8 oz (225 g) shredded Gruyère cheese


  1. Sauté the onions with the butter in a soup pan until the onions are golden brown. Add salt and pepper, and then deglaze with the white wine, water and broth. Add the bay leaf and thyme and let cook slowly for 45 minutes.
  2. Pick out the thyme and bay leaf and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  3. Add the Madeira and pour the soup into soup bowls. Place the baguette slices on top, sprinkle with the cheese and bake until the cheese melts.

    Serves 6

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