Recipes / Mostly Onion Soup with Cannellini Crostini

Mostly Onion Soup with Cannellini Crostini

By The Editors

Published February 14, 2024

A crock of mediocre bouillon topped with too much cheese used to be the gateway to so-called fancy French cooking. Thankfully, times have changed. 

Photo: Lars Blankers/Unsplash
Photo: Lars Blankers/Unsplash
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Make The Recipe!

Mostly Onion Soup with Cannellini Crostini

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Makes 4 servings 1x

Time 1 hour

Units Scale


  • 4 large onions, halved and sliced (about 6 cups)
  • 1 leek, sliced and rinsed well
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, and sliced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 whole-grain baguette or other whole-grain loaf
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked navy or cannellini beans (or one 15-ounce can, drained), liquid reserved
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary


1. Put the onions, leek, fennel, and parsnip in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are browned in places and sticking to the pan but not burning, about 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup oil and a large pinch of salt and pepper, and continue to cook and stir until the vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes more.

2. Pour in half the cider and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan; then add the rest along with 2 cups water, the bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil; adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles gently. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the soup is flavorful and the vegetables are super soft, at least 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and taste and adjust the seasoning.

3. Heat the oven to 400°F. Slice the bread in 1/2-inch-thick slices, put it on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast, turning as needed, until the slices are lightly browned on both sides, about 10 minutes.

4. Put the beans, garlic, nutritional yeast, rosemary, and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a blender or food processor and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn the machine on and very slowly add as much of the reserved bean liquid or water as you need to make a smooth but not watery puree. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

5. Spread the bean puree on the toast, and return to the oven until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve the soup with the bean toast on top.

— Recipe from Dinner for Everyone