Old San Francisco Steak House Onion Soup


  • 2 Tbsp clarified butter *
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 12 oz (1 1/2 cup) dry sherry
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, or less to taste
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • Paprika, to taste
  • 1 tsp chopped scallions

Garnish Ingredients:

  • Sourdough croutons (toasted slices of sourdough bread, or French bread)
  • Swiss cheese slices (Swiss Gruy?re is an excellent choice)


Heat the butter in a large heavy pot over moderate heat and add the onions, separating the rings with a fork. Cover and sauté onions, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring often, until the onions are very soft and a deep golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Add beef stock, chicken stock, sherry, brown sugar, pepper, thyme, parsley, paprika and scallions. Simmer for 10 minutes, or longer, if desired. To serve, pour soup into warmed bowls, and top with croutons and Swiss cheese.

*Clarified butter is butter with the milk solids removed. The clear yellow fat can withstand high heat without burning.

To clarify butter: Melt butter in a heavy pan over low heat. Skim off froth and carefully pour clear liquid into another container, being careful to leave the milky residue behind.can be halved or doubled.

Makes 1 gallon (16 cups) soup

Print This Page