Cipollata - Onion Soup


Cipollata (Onion Soup) is an excellent Tuscan onion soup. It’s rich with flavor and great served on a cold day. It can be a first course for your holiday menu or an entire meal. The true Tuscan flavor comes through by lining the bowl with toasted Ciabatta bread and pouring the onions over the top.

I sometimes use a variety of onions for this soup but the regular white onions have a makes a nice flavorful soup. Bread is normally found in Tuscan-style soups usually as a thickener or to line the soup bowl. And of course, no soup would be complete without fresh grated parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.

Though not necessary, I like to add a half a cup of red wine to this Onion Soup recipe. Wine is a little added touch to bring out the flavor of this soup. Also, homemade beef stock works best but canned broth may be substituted.


  • 6 large white, yellow or red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound of pancetta, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 6 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbls of butter
  • 6 cups of beef stock or canned beef broth
  • 1/2 cup of dry red wine
  • 4 thick slices of Ciabetta or similar Italian bread
  • 1 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


  • In a large soup pot, sauté the pancetta and garlic for 2 minutes in 4 Tbls of olive oil and butter.
  • Add the onions and cook covered for around 15 minutes stirring often until the onions slightly browned.
  • Add the broth, wine, salt and pepper.
  • Stir together, cover and cook on medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Brush the bread on both sides with remaining oil.
  • Broil the bread on both sides until toasted.
  • Place the bread in bottom of four individual bowls.
  • Pour the soup over the bread and sprinkle with cheese.

    Serve the soup with the remaining cheese. Serves 4 people.

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