Rich and comforting, we love the goodness of a cozy bowl of soup.

This classic French Onion Soup recipe simmers caramelized onions in a savory beef broth. It’s topped with bubbly cheese for a perfect bite.

While it may seem intimidating, it’s easy to make this restaurant-quality at home.

a bowl of French onion soup with a spoon

French Onion Soup originated in 18th-century Paris and was introduced to New York in 1861. Sweet, golden caramelized onions are simmered in a richly flavored broth and then crowned with a slice of baguette and broiled cheese.

  • While it takes a bit of time, this recipe is super easy.
  • French onion soup is a great freezer meal.
ingredients to make Homemade French Onion Soup

Ingredients for French Onion Soup

Onions The best onions for French onion soup are either sweet white onions or yellow onions. Vidalia or Walla Walla are great choices. Cook the onions low and slow until caramelized for the best flavor.

Broth – Beef broth or beef stock and a splash of dry white wine mixed with Worcestershire creates a a deep, rich, flavor. 

Wine – For white wine in this recipe, choose a chardonnay, Pinot Gris, or Sauvignon Blanc. You can leave the wine out but it is recommended for the best flavor.

Cheeses – Our favorite includes a combination of Gruyere and parmesan broiled over the soup-soaked bread. Gruyere is a mildly flavored Swiss cheese. Other cheeses include Emmental, mozzarella, or gouda.

How to Make French Onion Soup

  1. Caramelize the onions in butter until soft and golden brown, low and slow.
  2. Add the broth, seasonings, and herbs per the recipe below. Simmer.
  3. Ladle the soup into oven-safe bowls and top with dry bread and cheese.
  4. Broil until melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Bowls for French Onion Soup

You can purchase French onion soup bowls online but almost any ceramic bowl will work. Ceramic bowls that have been glazed are fired in a kiln so most are oven safe. Check the bottom of the bowl; it’ll usually tell you if it’s oven-safe.

The bowls with handles in these images are from a dollar store years ago. They’re great for other oven dishes like casseroles or pot pie too!

Two bowls of French onion soup on a small baking pan

Tips for French Onion Soup

  • Choose sweet Vidalia, Walla Walla, or yellow onions for this recipe.
  • Onions will reduce down to a small amount but you’ll need a large pan or Dutch oven to begin.
  • Cook the onions very slowly, this step should take 30-40 minutes at a low temperature.
  • Toast the baguette slices under the broiler for French onion soup or use leftover chunks of dry bread.
  • Place the bowls on a baking sheet, this makes them easier to transfer in and out of the oven.
  • French onion soup freezes beautifully (without the bread or cheese). Cook and cool the onions and broth and then place in freezer bags. Thaw in a pot on the stove until hot and then top with bread and cheese and broil.

More Classic Soups

Did you make this Homemade French Onion Soup? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

a bowl of French onion soup with a spoon
4.91 from 92 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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French Onion Soup

This flavorful French Onion Soup has rich beef broth filled with caramelized onions and topped with a golden bubbly cheese.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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Ingredients  

  • 3 large sweet onions peeled
  • cup unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar optional
  • 8 cups beef broth 64 oz
  • cup dry white wine
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dry
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry optional
  • 1 baguette
  • 3 cups gruyere cheese
  • 6 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese

Instructions 

  • Slice onions ¼" thick. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onions and brown sugar and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the beef broth, wine, thyme, bay leaf, black pepper, Worcestershire, dry sherry. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Remove bay leaf and thyme (if fresh) and discard.
  • Meanwhile, slice the bread ½-inch thick, brush with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet. Broil under high heat for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden. 
  • Place 4 ceramic bowls on a baking sheet and ladle the soup into the bowls. Add 2 slices of bread to each bowl and top with cheese. Broil until golden and bubbly.

Video

Notes

  • Choose sweet Vidalia or Walla Walla onions or yellow onions for this recipe. Sweeter varieties of onions may not need the sugar.
  • Onions will reduce down to a small amount but you’ll need a large pan or dutch oven to begin.
  • Cook the onions very slowly, this step should take 30-40 minutes at a low temperature. This is where the flavor comes from.
  • For white wine choose a chardonnay, Pinot Gris, or Sauvignon Blanc. You can leave the wine out but it is recommended for the best flavor.
  • Leftover chunks of dry bread will work well as the bread in this recipe too.
  • Place the bowls on a baking sheet, this makes them easier to transfer in and out of the oven.
  • If you don’t have oven safe bowls, place the dry bread or crostini on a sheet pan and top with cheese. Broil until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Remove from the oven and use a spatula to transfer the bread to the top of a bowl of soup.
  • French onion soup freezes beautifully. Cook and cool the onions and broth and then place in freezer bags. Thaw in a pot on the stove until hot and then top with bread and cheese and broil.

 

4.91 from 92 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 552 | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 1264mg | Potassium: 851mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1005IU | Vitamin C: 5.3mg | Calcium: 780mg | Iron: 1.8mg

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

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine American, French
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cheesy French Onion Soup with writing
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French Onion Soup in bowls and with a spoon with a title

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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. I Love everything Holly!!! Every recipe is up my alley! Thank you Holly !!!
    I love this soup recipe it’s automatic for me!! LOVE IT!!