What is “Spanish” Onion Soup?


What is “Spanish” Onion Soup? Serves 3-4 * Note: the chicken stock can be replaced with beans and their cooking liquid. Here is how I cook dry beans: If you want to use canned beans, rinse them and add water since the canned liquid is not very tasty. Recipes for my chicken stock: Instant pot version: Regular pot version: Soup: 1.5 – 2 Lb yellow onions, sliced ​​pole to pole 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar or to taste 4 garlic cloves , thinly sliced ​​1/4 cup dry white wine Pinch of saffron 28 oz (800g) can of whole tomatoes, drained 2.5 cups chicken stock 1 bay leaf A few thyme sprigs tied with twine Salt Set a 12 inch stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the onions and a couple of big pinches of salt. Mix to integrate the salt and then leave your onions alone until they are brown on the bottom. Stir, and continue cooking over moderately-high heat stirring only after you get color. As they continue to cook, browning will happen faster and faster, so you need to watch them closely. If the bottom of the pan ever looks dry, add more oil and if the onions or the brown bits are turning black instead of brown, lower the heat just a bit. This stage takes 10-20 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are very soft and jammy, 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic, a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally until the garlic is soft, 5-10 minutes. Push the onions to one side, tilt the pan, and remove excess oil, reserving it for the toast or some other use. Stir in the vinegar, the wine, and saffron. Add the tomatoes and break them up with a spoon. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook at a very gentle simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the thyme and bay leaf. Taste and adjust for salt. Pour the soup into bowls, top with toast pieces (recipe follows) and poached eggs ( Toast: A few pieces of good sourdough bread Olive oil as needed 1 garlic clove Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Generously coat a few pieces of bread in olive oil (use the oil from the onions and add more if needed). Put on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, 12-15 min. Rub all over with a garlic clove dunked in salt. Chop into bite size pieces. my channel My cooking classes in the Boston area: FACEBOOK: INSTAGRAM: .





  1. this looks so goood! I’m definitely going to make it! love your videos, always informative and pleasant to watch!

    do you have any suggestions for an alternative to bread’s “functionality” in this recipe?

    sadly i have celiac disease AND an unknown intolerance to some ingredient in most (all?) premade GF bread 😭

  2. Hi Helen – would cherry tomatoes not work better than tinned tomatoes? It’s common in some Parsi cookbooks to make a caramelised onion and tomato masala and this involves (more or less) adding halved cherry tomatoes in the pan during the hot pan stage a couple of minutes before turning the heat down. This means the tomatoes’ structure breakdown and their delicious juices add to that syrupy, jammy consistency. I know winter tomatoes on the whole might be worse than good tinned ones though, so I’m guessing this is why you opted for tinned? Interested to hear your rationale.

  3. Hi Helen!
    Do you think it would be possible for you to post some Ukrainian recipe next week? I'm Polish and we're currently welcoming soooo many Ukrainian war refugees. I thought it would be nice to cook something that feels homey for some people staying with me or my friends.
    Love your work!

  4. Besides some comments I have never seen tomatos in a onion soup in Spain so I think this is prety unique. If you wanna go full Spain smoked paprika is an easy cheatcode, in any food whit some fat it's instant chorizo flavor whit the benefit of chosing to be subtle if you want.

  5. Helen, a couple of (probably stupid) questions if I may? (1) Does the recipe need "Spanish" onions and (2) my understanding of "Spanish" onions is that they are large brown/white onions, i.e one of which would take up thje whole of your hand? Thanks

  6. The stewed tomatoes with poached egg make this soup reminiscent of shakshuka! I love the tips for caramelizing onions. All the instructions I've seen don't mention which direction to slice them, and take at least an hour to finish, sometimes more than 2 hours. It's nice to have a quicker way.