Seven-Onion Soup

Traditional French onion soup has gobs of cheese. This version achieves the same full flavor from dried porcini mushrooms and a bit of Marsala wine.
Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1997/1998
  • Yield Serves 4
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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 white onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • 12 fresh pearl onions or 10 ounces frozen
  • 3 shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 leeks, washed and cut into 1/4-inch rings
  • 4 medium bunches of chives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 6 cups homemade Beef Stock, or low-sodium canned beef broth, skimmed of fat
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped dried porcini
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus 4 sprigs of thyme


  1. In a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat, combine the olive oil, red, white, yellow, and pearl onions, and the shallots and saute until golden brown and soft.

  2. Add the leeks and chives and cook until the onions turn a deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, 2 minutes more, or until the mixture begins to bubble.

  3. Add 2 cups of stock every 15 minutes for the next 45 minutes, allowing the liquid to reduce by one-fourth after each addition.

  4. Add the mushrooms and thyme leaves with the last 2 cups of stock. The soup will be a very deep brown. Ladle into deep soup bowls and garnish with thyme sprigs.

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