Instant Pot French Tomato Soup

So I have a bit of an obsession with all things French onion. There’s my mega-popular French Onion Chicken, French Onion Risotto, French Onion Pasta, and of course, my take on French Onion Soup.

Speaking of the soup, my partner Richard grew some amazing tomatoes in his garden this past summer. And as he admired them, he had a stroke of genius. <Said in deep, sexy Southern accent> “You know, I bet you can do a French Onion take on these tomatoes.” That man sure is smart.

Folks, I bring you the best of a French onion soup and a creamy tomato soup turned into a soup inspired by the French classic. And so I’m calling it French Tomato Soup. And of course it’s loaded with cheese to please, mon cherie.

French tomato soup
Onions
Start of with some Vidalia (sweet) onions…
Onion sliced into strips
…and slice ’em up into strips.
Adding butter to pot
Add butter to the Instant Pot and give it some heat until it melts.
Sautéing onion
Add the onion and sauté for about 10-15 minutes…
Sautéing onion
…until it cooks down significantly and becomes pasta-like and just lightly browned.
Adding garlic to pot
Add garlic and sauté a moment longer.
Adding Worcestershire sauce and sherry to pot.
Of course we need to add some Worcestershire sauce and some sherry.
Deglazing pot.
Make sure you deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot to get up any browned bits from the sautéing of the onion. Both wine and Worcestershire are as magical deglazing agents as they are flavorful.
Adding broth to pot
Time to get soupy! In this order, add some broth…
Adding dried thyme to pot
…dried thyme…
Adding canned whole tomatoes to pot
…and canned whole tomatoes and their juices.
Smoothing out tomatoes in pot.
DON’T STIR! If you do, you could risk a “burn” notice due to all the onion and the whole tomatoes. Rather, gently smooth out the tomatoes with a mixing spoon.
Topping basil leaves
Top with some basil leaves. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
Post-pressure cooking soup
Once done pressure cooking, you’re gonna have what looks like a tomato-onion soup.
Reserving onions.
If you want a more hearty and rustic soup, you can reserve some onions by taking them out of the pot for the time being.
But you totally don’t have to do this.
Placing immersion blender in pot
The most fun (and satisfying) part of making any soup is upon us: immersion blending! Take an immersion/stick blender
Immersion blending
…and blend until puréed.
This is SO much easier than transferring the soup in messy batches to a blender and back to the pot. A world of difference – seriously, get an immersion blender. It’ll make your life so much better.
Adding herb cheese and cream to pot.
Now it’s time to dairy this up. Add in an herb cheese and some cream…
Adding shredded cheese to pot
…as well as a blended of shredded cheeses (be it cheddar/colby jack or mozzarella/swiss).
Stirring pot
Give it a stir until the cheese is no longer visible.
Adding seasonings to pot
Lastly, we’ll add a few simple seasonings to really send it home.
Stick it to the soup with one final blend.
Adding reserved onions back to pot.
If you reserved some of the onion, now’s the time to add them back to the soup.
Final stir of soup in pot
Give it a final stir, and you’ll have a creamy, outrageous French-onion kissed tomato soup!
Ladling soup into crocks
Okay. Now comes the moment you’ve been waiting for. Making it a true “French onion” style! On a foil-lined baking sheet, ladle the soup into oven-safe crocks so the soup comes just below the lip of the crock.
Adding croutons to soup
Sprinkle in croutons. These will serve as a “mattress” for the blanket of cheese to come (and are much easier to eat instead of a slice of a loaf of bread).
Resting muenster cheese on top of croutons
And now, depending on how large/wide your crock is, rest 1-2 slices of muenster cheese on top of the croutons so the top of the crock is basically sealed.
Adding cheddar cheese on top of muenster cheese.
And because we want this extra cheesy (and colorful), add 1-2 slices of cheddar cheese on top of the muenster in the opposite direction so we get optimal cheese melt for presentation.
Topping with a tomato
Top with a thinly sliced cocktail/campari tomato (either roasted or raw)…
Placing crock in oven
…place the crock(s) in an oven…
Melted cheese on crock
…and bake/broil until the cheese is melted. Keep an eye on this as all ovens vary and we don’t want the cheese to burn!
Spoon going into soup
Here it comes – the moment you’ve earned. Grab that spoon and DIG IN!
Man with cheesy spoon
At first, you’ll immediately notice and likely drool over that cheese stretch.
Man slurping soup
Really, do your best to look elegant eating it…
Man reacting with stunned expression
…and then you’ll likely have a moment of “Holy wow…” with your mouth gaping, ready for more.
Man with mouthful of cheese
But seriously, who cares what people think of you while you devour this soup with a mouthful of cheese? That’s part of the joy of the French Onion Soup and French Tomato Soup is no exception!
Man proud of soup
And be proud of what you’ve just (simply) achieved. You’ve just created something very special and comforting.
Instant Pot French Tomato Soup
Yield: 6

Instant Pot French Tomato Soup

Instant Pot French Tomato Soup

I have a bit of an obsession with all things French onion. There's my mega-popular French Onion Chicken, French Onion Risotto, French Onion Pasta, and of course, my take on French Onion Soup.

Speaking of the soup, my partner Richard grew some amazing tomatoes in his garden this past summer. And as he admired them, he had a stroke of genius. (Said in deep, sexy Southern accent) "You know, I bet you can do a French Onion take on these tomatoes." That man sure is smart.

French classic. And so I'm calling it French Tomato Soup. And of course it's loaded with cheese to please, mon cherie.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 4 sweet (Vidalia) onions, sliced into strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 cup sherry wine
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, garlic or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 5.2-ounce package Boursin (any flavor) or herb cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella or swiss cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Croutons of your choice
  • Sliced cheddar cheese
  • Sliced muenster cheese
  • Campari/cocktail tomatoes, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Add the butter to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté and Adjust so it’s on the More or High setting. Once melted, add the onions and sauté for 15 minutes until they become soft, pasta-like and a bit syrupy. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. 
  2. Add the sherry and Worcestershire sauce. Let bubble for 1 minute, constantly stirring and scraping up the bottom of the pot so nothing sticks.
  3. In this order, add the broth, thyme, canned tomatoes but do not stir! Just gently smooth the tomatoes out on top with a mixing spoon. Top with the basil leaves. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, and hit Cancel and then Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done.
  4. Optional: For a more rustic and textured experience (and keeping in line with the "French onion" homage) you can reserve about a cup of the onion with some tongs or a slotted spoon. If doing that, do it now. 
  5. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup for about a minute or two until it's a smooth puree. 
  6. Stir in the cream, Boursin, shredded cheeses, seasoned salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Blend once more until fully smooth. 
  7. Place oven-safe crocks on a baking sheet and ladle the soup into each, filling it just below the lip. Top with croutons and, depending on the size of your crocks, layer 1-2 slices of Muenster cheese upon of the croutons, sealing the top of the crock. Then, add another cheese layer in the opposite direction with 1-2 slices of cheddar cheese. Top with a thinly sliced tomato in the center and perhaps a few small basil leaves, if you wish. Place the baking sheet with the crocks in the oven on the top rack on 425° or broil for 3 or so minutes until cheese melts and cascades down the sides. (NOTE: keep on eye on this as we don’t want the cheese to burn). Serve immediately, being mindful that the crock will be very hot!

Jeffrey's Tips

Use ANY kind of cheese your heart desires!

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Brenda

    Omg. Just made it, so good. I do not like tomato soup typically. I used my canned tomatoes from garden but my husband and I are in love

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