The best kind of onion soup is the simplest kind. — Ambrose Bierce

The theme at the cooking club this week is “make any sweet or savory layered dish (from dip to dessert)” and yes I would consider Tieghan’s French onion soup layered a layer of soup, a layer of crouton, and finally a layer of cheese. I have so many onion soup recipes and a favorite that I always serve is a Julia & Jacques’ collaboration and today I am starting with a peek at Tieghan’s recipe (link to recipe below) and I’m going to adapt it a bit and make the soup in the Instant pot substituting a bit of cognac and white wine, other than that the ingredients are the same as many other recipes for French onion soup.

Cheesy French toast topper certainly puts the soup over the top, but I prefer my own toasted garlic crouton with a nice layer of Gruyère…to finish the soup I bake it in their bowls at a 350º oven until the cheese is bubbling hot and golden brown. I did make just half of the recipe enough for tonight and some for lunch tomorrow.

Ingredients slightly adapted:

  • 6 tablespoons butter cubed
  • 4 sweet onions thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar ( I added 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup of your favorite beer OR red wine
  • 2 quarts beef broth (1pod chicken stock and 1 pod beef stock)
  • 2 leaves bay
  • 3-4 fresh thyme sprigs + more for serving
  • large pinch of pepper
    My additions: 1/4 cup white wine and 1/4 cup Cognac

Tieghan’s Cheesy French Toast

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • pinch of salt + pepper
  • 6-8 slices thick cut french bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese shredded


  • To the bowl of your crockpot, add the butter, onions, garlic, brown sugar and worcestershire sauce. Stir everything together, cover the crockpot and cook on low for at least 8 hours or up to 14 hours. I like cooking the onions overnight while I sleep (note that I have noticed that all crockpots cook differently, if yours seems to cook fast, check the onions at 8 hours in to make sure nothing is burning).
  • The next morning, stir the flour into the onions and then add the beer (or wine), beef broth, bay leaves, thyme and a good pinch of pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. The longer and slower you can cook this the better. Taste and season with salt + pepper if needed.
  • Just before you’re ready to eat, make the french toast. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, parmesan and a pinch of salt + pepper.
  • Preheat the broiler to high.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter to melt.
  • Submerge one piece of toast at a time into the egg mixture, allowing it to sit 30 seconds in the eggs. Remove and allow the excess to drip off back into the bowl. Place the toast on the hot skillet and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining bread.
  • Ladle the french onion soup into oven safe ramekins or bowls. Place 1-2 pieces of toast on top of the soup and cover with cheese. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the cheese is melted. WATCH close, the broiler works quick!
  • Serve the soup with fresh thyme and enjoy hot, right out of the oven!

Crockpot French Onion Soup with Cheesy French Toast + Video