iPot French Onion Soup

With all the cold weather we have been having in Atlanta, I really wanted to make soup. I also didn’t want to go to the store. Luckily, I usually keep onions on hand and some sort of premade stock also.

Using the instant pot, or the iPot as it is affectionately known in the circles I travel, makes easy work of French Onion Soup. Kenji at Serious Eats has a great recipe for Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup. This is a great site for regular recipes and techniques, not just sous vide. He has a tendency to make late night cooking youtube videos also.

One thing to remember when using generic pressure cooker recipes for the iPot is that the iPot cooks around 12.5 psi and pressure cookers are usually working at 15 psi. Sometimes, I just add a minute or two to the cook time. Other times, I forget or don’t worry about it… It seems to turn out fine anyway.

The only real issue with making french onion soup is slicing a bunch of onions thinly. I’ve had a Matler mandoline for years. I bought it prior to the plethora of inexpensive mandolines made it to the market. These do a great job and the adrenaline rush of potentially adding slices of hand to the onion pile can really amp up the appetite! You could use the slicer blade of a food processor instead, but they are usually a little thicker than optimal.  But don’t worry, it will still taste fine.

The generic recipe is pretty simple:

  • caramelize onions in pressure cooker with butter, salt, pepper and some baking soda for 20 minutes
  • reduce the liquid
  • add stock and seasonings


iPot French Onion Soup


  • 4 onions thinly sliced ( 3 sweet, 1 yellow )
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 32 oz Chicken Stock
  • 2 BIG Tbsp Bettter than bouillon beef base ( may want to reduce to normal Tbsp )
  • 16 oz water
  • 1 oz cognac
  • 1 tsp fish sauce ( may want to reduce to 1/2 tsp )
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • bread butt
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Set iPot to medium saute.
  2. Melt butter
  3. Add onions and saute in butter for a few minutes.IMG_1809
  4. Add salt, pepper and baking soda.
  5. Seal iPot and set to manual pressure for 20 minutes
  6. Manually release pressure.IMG_1813
  7. Saute onions and reduce all the liquid out.
  8. Add cognac and saute for 2 minute.
  9. Add Stock, bouillon, water and bay leaves.
  10. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  11. Turn off heat and add the vinegar and fish sauce.

Here is where “those that know best” will bring out the pitchforks and torches. I didn’t have any french bread in the house. I usually don’t. I didn’t have any gruyere or mozzarella or even any parmesan. I had sharp cheddar and it wasn’t event fancy sharp cheddar. I believe I mentioned that we were in the middle of freezing to death in Atlanta, so I wasn’t risking my life for the proper bread or cheese for my bowl of soup.

I do have a nice set of french onion soup bowls though!

So to finish the dish

  1. Lightly toast a piece of bread with some olive oil. I just wanted to get it stable enough to hold up to being broiled in the soup bowl.
  2. Fill soup bowl with soup.IMG_1833
  3. Artfully stuff the bread into the soup bowl like a top.
  4. Cover with cheese.
  5. Broil to melt the cheeseFOS_header
  6. Enjoy, but you may want to let it cool a bit.

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