Instant Pot: Ultimate French Onion Soup

It was a late night at work and by the time I got home, I was too tired to really make anything for dinner. I'm sure I'm not alone having nights like this. And for nights like this, I'm so thankful to have some dinner waiting for me, even if it means putting in a little time beforehand to make it happen. The temperatures have dropped the past few days here in Chicago, making it a perfect night to settle in with a warm, comforting bowl of soup... and that's exactly what I had. French Onion Soup.

What I love the most about french onion soup is the richness of flavors it has with few ingredients. The soup starts out by sauteing onions until caramelized with a few herbs. Red wine is then added to deglaze the pan and pull up the little bits of goodness that have gathered at the bottom of the pot. The wine eventually reduces and the onions are sprinkled with flour, which will help thicken the soup. Lastly, beef broth is added to provide that meatiness that gives french onion soup that distinct flavor. Of course, we can't forget the infamous topping of a toasted crostini smothered with melted gruyere cheese!

Ultimate French Onion Soup
recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

1/2 cup unsalted butter

4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated Gruyere cheese

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place

Press SAUTE and melt the stick of butter. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and start to caramelize, about 10 minutes.

Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. 

Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.

Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 5 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 5 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 5 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top. Serve hot.