French Onion Soup Pin

French Onion Soup

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 super delicious! Of course, the best part of any french onion soup is the crusty bread topped with gruyere or swiss cheese and broiled until golden and bubbly! 

French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup

Classic French Onion Soup gets its name because it originated in France in the 18th century. It is made with caramelized onions, beef broth, white wine, bay leaves, and thyme, therefore French + Onion + Soup!

The patient cook wins hands down when it comes to French onion soup. This recipe calls for long, slow cooking to bring out the onions’ natural sweetness, and diligent stirring, every 15 minutes or so to ensure they don’t burn, is of the utmost importance.

Generally, recipes specify that the onions should be cooked slowly, becoming caramelized. Brandy or sherry or wine is added at the end to give that rich flavour. The soup base is often topped with a slice of bread (a “croute” or “crouton”) which is topped with cheese and broiled or baked. The soup is then immediately served in the bowl or ramekin of your choice. This keeps the soup hot and you still have the crusty bread on top with the melted cheese which makes it super delicious.


Wine is optional to deglaze the pan but I recommended it as it adds flavour to the soup. A dry white or red wine, such as a good quality Pinot Grigio/Gris, Sauv Blanc, Sémillon, Chardonnay, Merlot, or Pinot Noir. The wine in the soup brings out the delicious flavour and aroma from the onions and giving it a great depth to the soup. And who doesn’t like a little wine? Having a glass of wine while cooking is good for the soul!

For an alcohol free French Onion Soup, you can substitute the wine for Apple cider vinegar. Keep to the process, but instead add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Do not add more than a tablespoon otherwise it would be sour in taste.

What Kind of Cheese

Gruyere, which is a type of mild swiss cheese, is commonly added to top a french onion soup recipe. It has a mild flavor and melts perfectly over the bread. There are no hard and fast rules for a cheese option; 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? Either way, you won’t be disappointed with the outcome.

Beef Stock / Vegetable Stock

If you really want to go all-in and get the best flavour out of your soup, make your own stock. I promise you this will be worth it at the end of the day. You can make a large pot of the stock and freeze any leftovers so it can be used in another recipe. Those two steps will add a ton of flavour to your beef stock, and seeing as French Onion Soup is 90% just onions and beef stock, that’ll make a big difference in your soup. If you short on time, using the store-bought stocks will work as well. You could also make this completely vegetarian and use vegetable stock.

Beef stock, Roasting soup bones in the oven first gives hearty beef flavour to this basic beef stock. In addition to soups, use the beefy broth to provide extra flavour in stews, gravies, sauces and vegetable dishes) buy beef bones and roast them in an oven until browned. Add the bones to a large pot along with vegetables, water, and herbs. Hands-on preparation time is under 30 minutes, and then the stock is simmered to perfection for several hours.

Vegetable stock Gather some vegetables and herbs. Onions, carrots, and celery give the stock a great base flavour, and you can round these out with any of the other vegetables. Coarsely chop all the vegetables. Cover with water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 1 hour. Strain and store. Onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms are the ideal starter vegetables for the stock, but feel free to swap any of these for leeks, tomatoes or parsnips.

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

A rich broth filled with caramelized onions and topped with a golden bubbly cheese.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Light, lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people


  • 1 kg Onions
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Buttter
  • 1 tbsp All-purpose Flour
  • cup White wine
  • 1 litre Beef stock / broth or Vegetable stock
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 Baguette or sourdough bread
  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese
  • 1 clove Garlic


  • Slice all the onions ¼" thick. Do not dice the onions, must be chunky and not thinly sliced
  • In a heavy pot add the olive oil and butter on low heat. Adding the olive prevents your butter from buring.
  • Add the onions to the hot butter. They fill the pot but dont worry they will reduce as they cook. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook onions untill they have reduced and have a beautiful golden colour (caramelized,) stirring occasionally.It takes about 30 minutes.
  • Once the onions has reduced in size and caramalized add the flour to the onions and let simmer for a few minutes.
  • Then deglaze the pot with the wine. Add the wine to the pot and reduce the wine all the way down. Reducing the wine prevents your soup from having a sour taste.
  • Then add beef broth and the herbs to the pot. Cook for +- 20 minutes On a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, slice bread and toast in the oven for 2 minutes per side or until golden. Once bread is toasted rub the garlic clove over the bread gently.
  • Ladle soup into ovenproof dishes. Lay 2 slices of bread on top of the soup in each bowl. Sprinkle cheese over the bread and bake in the oven until golden and bubbly. Serve hot.
Keyword bread, Cheesy, Crisp, Delicious, Dinner, Easy, French, Homemade, Light, Lunch, Onion, Quick, Soup, Vegetarian

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