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French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is a delicious combination of caramelized onions and a hearty beef broth topped with toasted bread and melted cheese. Make this restaurant quality onion soup right at home for a special occasion or holiday dinner. 

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Warm comforting soup recipes are our favorite for cold winter nights, from our Creamy Ham and Potato Soup, to Stuffed Pepper Soup or Beer Cheese Soup. If you love French Onion Soup, ours is a must-try!

French Onion Soup 2 bowls close up with text overlay

 

Ingredients for French Onion Soup:

Ingredients for French Onion Soup

  • Butter
  • Sweet Onions
  • Garlic
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Thyme
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Beef Broth
  • Baguette or French Bread
  • Gruyere Cheese

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2 bowls of cheese toast topped French Onion Soup

How to Make French Onion Soup:

  • Slice onions thin and mince garlic.

Sliced onions in a large pan

Caramelizing onions with garlic in a pan with a wood spoon

  • Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. 
  • Sprinkle with brown sugar and add garlic. Stir to combine.
  • Continue to cook another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized.

Caramelized onions with spices

  • Season with salt, pepper and thyme. 
  • Whisk in flour, cook for 4- 5 minutes.

Caramelized onions on one side of the pan adding broth to the other

  • Add about 1 cup of beef broth and whisk, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan. 

Spoon stirring French onion soup in a pan

  • Whisk in remaining beef broth and raise heat to medium- high. Bring mixture to a boil and cook, whisking until soup is thickened. 

Pan of French Onion Soup

  • Remove from heat. 

Baguette on a cutting board, half sliced

  • Slice Baguette and spread with butter.

Toasted baguette slices

  • Lightly toast sliced baguette under the broiler. 

2 bowls of French Onion soup on a seasoned baking sheet

  • Ladle soup into oven safe bowls and place on a baking sheet.

Two bowls of French Onion Soup topped with 2 slices of baguette on a baking sheet

  • Top with toasted baguette.

Shredded cheese on a cutting board

  • Shred the cheese.

2 bowls of French Onion Soup on a baking sheet topped with toasted baguette and shredded cheese

  • Sprinkle shredded cheese over baguettes. 

2 bowls of French Onion Soup with toasted baguette and melted cheese, check napkin on the side

  • Place under the broiler and watch carefully. Remove from oven when cheese is completely melted and starts to brown. 
  • Serve immediately. 

How to Store and Reheat:

Store leftover French Onion Soup (without the bread and cheese topping) in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

Reheat soup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often until heated through, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Serve as directed above with toasted bread and melted cheese. 

Tips for Making French Onion Soup:

I’ve tried a few French onion soup recipes over the years but they never quite turned out like I expected, so here are my best tips for making it delicious. 

Don’t get in a hurry caramelizing the onions. Cook them low and slow and the flavors will really develop. 

Use good beef broth, taste the beef broth before you start and make sure that it tastes good. If not, don’t use it to make this soup. It is the major flavor of French Onion Soup and will great effect the final taste of the soup. I don’t recommend starting with bullion for this soup. 

We made our own beef broth but there are lots of store bought options that are delicious for making soup. 

What about the wine? Honestly, I like this soup better without the wine. I’ve made it with different kinds of wine and I always feel that it is overpowering, so we skipped it in this version and we were very happy with the taste.

Use a really good melty cheese to top your bread. Swiss, Gruyere or Emmentaler are great options. Buy a wedge of cheese, don’t buy pre-shredded cheese. It has flour or other additives to keep it from clumping and will not melt or taste as well. 

Two Bowls of French Onion Soup on a sheet pan with a blue check napkin

French Onion Soup makes a delicious first course for a fancy dinner like Prime Rib or serve it with a big green salad as a complete dinner. This recipe makes 4 small servings and is easily doubled to feed a larger crowd. 

Favorite Soup Recipes

French Onion Soup - 2 bowls topped with melted cheese bread and herbs

If you are planning a meal for a special celebration, anniversary dinner or having the family over for Christmas or New Year’s this French Onion Soup makes a great addition. 

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Yield: 4 servings

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup with toasted bread and melted cheese

French Onion Soup is a delicious combination of caramelized onions in a hearty beef broth topped with toasted bread and melted cheese.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter + 2 tablespoons for toasting bread
  • 4 sweet onions, about 2 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, about 3 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 baguette or loaf of French bread
  • 2 ounces shredded Gruyere Cheese

Instructions

  1. Slice onions and mince garlic.
  2. Melt butter in a heavy bottom pan and place over low heat.
  3. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 - 30 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and brown sugar, stir to combine. Continue to cook about 20 minutes or until onions are caramelized.
  5. Season with thyme, salt and pepper. Whisk in flour and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add about a cup of beef broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove the browned bits.
  7. Whisk in remaining beef broth and raise to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Whisk until soup is thickened. Remove from heat.
  8. Slice baguette, spread with butter and lightly toast.
  9. Ladle soup into oven safe bowls and place on a baking sheet.
  10. Top with toasted baguette and shredded cheese.
  11. Broil for a few minutes, watching carefully, until cheese is melted and starts to brown.
  12. Serve immediately.

Notes

Store leftover onion soup, without the bread and cheese) in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking until heated through, about 8 -10 minutes.

Follow steps to add toasted bread and cheese before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 773Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 2643mgCarbohydrates: 115gFiber: 8gSugar: 26gProtein: 29g

Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.

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