Four Onion Soup


  1. 2 pounds red onions
  2. 1 pound sweet onions - like Vidalia or Maui
  3. 1 pound leeks
  4. 8 ounces shallots, sliced thinly
  5. 3 tablespoons butter
  6. 1 1/2 quarts beef broth
  7. 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  8. 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  9. 3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  10. 3/4 cup shredded dry jack or Parmesan cheese
  11. Salt and pepper, to taste
  12. 6 slices crusty French bread, sliced in 1 inch rounds, toasted and buttered


  1. Cut red and sweet onions in half lengthwise; peel and thinly slice crosswise.
  2. Trim ends and green tops from leeks and discard.
  3. Slice whites in half and clean under water, then slice to make thin half-moons.
  4. In a 4-to 6-quart pan over medium-low heat, melt butter.
  5. Add red and sweet onions, leeks, and shallots. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt.
  6. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat as necessary to prevent scorching. Cook onions until they are very soft and a deep golden brown color, about 1 hour.
  7. Stir in broth, wine, and thyme; add pepper and more salt, to taste.
  8. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally to blend flavors, about 10 minutes.
  9. In a small bowl, mix Swiss and dry jack cheeses. Set aside.
  10. Set ovenproof soup bowls or ramekins on a baking sheet. Ladle hot soup into bowls.
  11. Float a slice of bread on each bowl of soup, then sprinkle each with 1/4 cup shredded cheese.
  12. Broil about 8 inches from heat until cheese is bubbly and starts to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  13. Serve immediately with a fresh, green salad.