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Onion Soup

Zuppa di Cipolla


This rich soup is great for a Friday-night supper. It can be ready in less than an hour, assuming you have some beef broth in the freezer. I make it with a combination of beef and veal broth for extra richness.


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 pound pancetta or salt pork, diced

5 large onions, mixture of red and yellow, thinly sliced

5 to 6 cups Beef Broth

2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

4 slices Italian bread

2 teaspoons dry sherry

8 slices Swiss, Gruyere, or Provolone cheese, plus additional grated, if desired


In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, add the pancetta or salt pork, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the onions, broth, and grated cheese, stir well, re-cover the pot, and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes.

In a skillet, heat ¼ cup of the olive oil and fry the bread slices on each side until golden brown. Add additional oil as needed. Drain the bread on brown paper and set aside.

To serve, ladle the soup into individual ovenproof soup bowls. Add ½ teaspoon sherry to each bowl. Place a slice of cheese on top of each bowl, then a slice of bread and another slice of cheese. Sprinkle with additional grated cheese, if desired. Place the soup bowls under the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve immediately.


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