baked garlic and onion cream soup au gratin

by Michelle

I started making the Silver Palate girls BAKED GARLIC AND ONION CREAM SOUP AU GRATIN during the eighties, while I was living in New York City. The Silver Palate store on the upper west side was a constant inspiration for me. This soup became my dinner party signature ‘starter’.

The cooking technique is more a braise than a bake because of the addition of chicken stock to the roasting pan.

The garlic and onion lose their pungency after their time in the oven for a rich, mellow flavor. The thyme adds a lovely woodsy over tone that works perfectly with the heavy cream. I use fresh thyme rather than dried. I find dried thyme a little musty tasting where the fresh thyme has a brilliant clean flavor. If you don’t want to use cream because of the calories substitute buttermilk for a little zing in your baked garlic and onion cream soup.

baked garlic and onion soup au gratin

The soup doesn’t have to be ‘au gratin’. It absolutely will stand on its own but the bread and cheese knocks it out of the park.

 Baked Garlic and Sweet Onion Cream Soup

I left the soup in this shallow roasting pan while I pureed it. Bad move! I had soup everywhere. Better to decant the soup into a deeper pot before using an immersion blender, if you don’t want a mess on your hands.

Roasted Garlic and Onion Cream Soup

Lovely seasoned croutons and grated emmental cheese will have your dinner guests moaning over the soup.

baked garlic and onion soup au gratin

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Baked Garlic and Onion Cream Soup Au Gratin

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 5 large sweet white onions, cut into eighths
  • 2 heads of garlic, peeled
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups homemade or good quality chicken stock
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 cups seasoned focaccia croutons
  • 3 cups coarsely shredded emmental cheese



  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Place the onion, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in a large roasting pan.
  3. Dot with butter and pour 3 cups of the chicken stock over the vegetables.
  4. Cover roasting pan and place in preheated oven for 1 ½ hours.
  5. Remove from oven and puree with an immersion blender or your food processor*
  6. Add the additional stock and cream to the pureed soup and heat thoroughly over medium high heat.
  7. Preheat broiler to high.
  8. Divide the hot soup between 6 oven proof serving bowls.
  9. Divide the croutons between the six servings, placing them on top.
  10. Evenly sprinkle the grated cheese over the croutons.
  11. Place oven proof bowls under broiler until the cheese is bubbly.
  12. Serve immediately