Caramelized Onion and Toasted Bread Soup

This straightforward soup tastes much richer and more complex than it is because the toasted bread, sautéed onions and milk are so good together. "It's a Big Love union between the bread, onions and milk," Pim Techamuanvivit says, referencing the HBO series about a polygamous family in Utah.


Slideshow:  More Warming Soups


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 3 slices of white sandwich bread, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large white onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups water, plus more for deglazing
  • 4 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Crème fraîche and snipped chives or 1/4 cup of the Herbed Crème Fraîche Dip for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the bread squares on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, until golden.

  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onions, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook uncovered until the onions are deeply golden, 30 minutes. Stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water a few times during cooking to deglaze the pan.

  3. Add the toasted bread, milk and the 1 1/2 cups of water to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Simmer over very low heat just until the bread is very soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth.

  4. Transfer the soup to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and pour into bowls. Garnish with crème fraîche and chives and serve.

Make Ahead

The bread and onion soup can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

With this rich soup, Pim serves a minerally, coriander-inflected Chablis.

Contributed By Published December 2007

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