Restaurant Recipes

Old San Francisco Steak House Onion Soup

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Yield: about 1 gallon (16 cups) soup



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


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add beef stock, chicken stock, sherry, brown sugar, pepper, thyme, parsley, paprika and scallions. Simmer for 10 minutes, or longer, if desired.
  4. 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. Recipe can be halved or doubled.


Old San Francisco Steak House - San Antonio, Texas

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