Homemade French Onion Soup


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French Onion Soup is a classic soup recipe for good reason! Sweet caramelized onions are simmered in a rich beefy broth to create a soup base that is loved by everyone!

Of course the best part of any french onion soup is the cheesy topping! A crusty bread crouton (or two) is topped with cheese and broiled until golden and bubbly! Who could ever resist?

a bowl of french onion soup with broiled cheese

This French Onion Soup recipe is one of the easiest, most elegant soups a home cook can perfect! Savory, a little bit sweet with just the right amount of soft golden onions for texture. Next to chicken noodle soup, a good French onion soup recipe is one of my favorites to warm your belly from the inside out!

The best French onion soup recipe can go from a simple beef broth with just onions all the way to a full, hearty soup with a raft of melted gruyere cheese over a slab of crusty bread. This easy French onion soup is right in the middle, simple, yet oh so upscale!

What Kind of Cheese for French Onion Soup

My favorite part of this French onion soup recipe is the cheese.

Gruyere is often used to top french onion soup because of its mild flavor and the way it melts perfectly over the bread. There are no hard and fast rules for a French onion soup cheese option and many people use a combination of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Why not experiment with other soft, melty cheeses like Brie or Havarti, or even blue cheese crumbles?

A ladle of french onion soup ready for serving.

How to Make French Onion Soup

While I often make Slow Cooker French Onion Soup, this stovetop version is one of my husband’s favorites!

It does take a bit of time, but don’t worry, it’s super easy. Most of the time spent is hands off (simmering etc) so this French Onion Soup recipe is great to make while you’re puttering around the house doing other tasks (or enjoying a glass of wine and a book, my happy place).

  1. Onions: Start with good quality onions for the best flavor. Walla Walla onions and Vidalia’s are large and sweet and meaty so a few will go a long way for this easy French onion soup. Take your time cooking the onions down to release their sweet flavor, making sure they are uniformly golden and soft. You want to make sure to do this at a lower temperature so they don’t brown. (Although you can also caramelize onions in the slow cooker the night before too)! If you’re using a sweeter onion, you can eliminate the bit of brown sugar.
  2. Season: Next, add the white wine and spices. Don’t worry about a particular variety of wine. French onion soup is very forgiving and the wine is really just an acidic base that helps marry all the flavors. If you have leftover red, use that. Even sherry or cognac will do!
  3. Simmer: Allowing time to simmer adds great flavor to this soup recipe! French onion soup broth should have a transparent caramel color to it, with a rich, full-bodied flavor that only gets better as it ages!
  4. Cheese: The best part of course! Ladle the soup into bowls (almost any ceramic bowl should be fine under a low broil) and top with bread and cheese. Broil until golden.

The best. Ever.

A pot of french onion soup and bread ready to eat

What to Serve with French Onion Soup

What “can’t” you serve with French onion soup? As a starter or an entrée, French onion soup is so versatile.

We serve it as a starter to baked chicken breasts, a steak dinner or roasted pork tenderloin. Eaten as a meal of it’s own, it can be paired simply with a salad, a side of sliced apples, pears and cheese or it can stand alone with extra crusty bread or seasoned croutons!  Any way you serve it, a classic French onion soup will be a go-to recipe all year round!

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French Onion Soup

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly
Course Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine French
A rich beef broth filled with caramelized onions and topped with a golden bubbly cheese.

Ingredients

  • 3 large onions peeled and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar optional
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dry
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 baguette
  • 3 cups gruyere cheese
  • 6 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese

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Instructions

  1. Slice onions 1/4" thick. Cook onions stirring occasionally over low heat in melted butter (with sugar if using) until golden, about 30-45 minutes.

  2. Add wine, beef broth, bay leaf, thyme and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Remove bay leaf and thyme and discard.

  3. Meanwhile, slice bread and brush with olive oil. Broil 2 minutes per side or until golden. 

  4. Ladle soup into ceramic bowls. Add 2 slices of bread in each bowl. Divide cheeses over bowls and broil until golden and bubbly.

Recipe Notes

Sweeter varieties of onions may not need the sugar.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 552, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 1264mg, Potassium: 851mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 31g, Vitamin A: 20.1%, Vitamin C: 6.4%, Calcium: 78%, Iron: 9.8%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword french onion soup
French Onion Soup is one of our favorite recipes with golden onions, a rich beefy broth and croutons. We top this soup with a cheese and broil until bubbly. #spendwithpennies #onionsoup #frenchonionsoup #souprecipe #homemadesoup
French Onion Soup is one of our favorite recipes with golden onions, a rich beefy broth and croutons. We top this soup with a cheese and broil until bubbly. #spendwithpennies #onionsoup #frenchonionsoup #souprecipe #homemadesoup

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About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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