French Onion Soup Recipe With Delicious Ingredients You’ll Ever Try

French onion soup is a rich and warming meal. The main flavors come from the caramelized onions and the intense beef stock.

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Quick Answer: Is French Onion Soup Sweet Or Savory?

French Onion Soup is primarily savory with subtle sweetness. It features caramelized onions that bring a hint of sweetness, but the overall flavor profile leans toward savory, thanks to the rich beef broth and melted cheese topping.

French Onion Soup

If you have never had French onion soup, you might have thought it was vegetarian. Still, the most essential ingredient is beef stock. Without it, you cannot get the deep richness this soup is known for.

If you are vegetarian, scroll down to the bottom of our recipe. We have a unique ingredient to help you imitate the all-important beef stock.

What Is French Onion Soup?

French onion soup is a traditional dish from France, known for its comforting and rich flavors. It’s often considered a classic bistro dish. It has become famous worldwide for its unique blend of simplicity and depth of taste.

What sets French onion soup apart is its iconic garnish. Each bowl of soup is topped with a slice of crusty bread and a generous amount of cheese, usually Gruyère. The soup is then broiled until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly browned.

The result is a satisfying, hearty soup with a sweet and savory balance of flavors, contrasted by the crispy cheese topping and the tender-soaked bread. French onion soup is a testament to the transformative power of slow cooking and careful layering of flavors.

History Of French Onion Soup

The origins of French onion soup are as rich and layered as the dish itself. This humble soup is steeped in history, dating back to Roman times when it was served to fortify and warm weary travelers in roadside inns. It gained prominence in the 18th century and was hailed as a trendy cure-all for hangovers amongst the fashionable Parisian crowd.

The modern recipe we adore, complete with cheese-topped crusty bread, is traced back to Louis XV of France. Legend says the king found himself in a hunting lodge with nothing but onions, butter, and champagne. The king supposedly created the first French onion soup from these meager ingredients. 

Whether the story is fact or simply tantalizing folklore, there’s no denying the impact of this dish. From ancient inns to royal lodges and Parisian cafes, French onion soup has become a globally loved comfort food, cherished for its depth of flavor and heart-warming qualities.

Interesting Facts About French Onion Soup

  • Roman Beginnings: The concept of onion soup dates back to Roman times, when it was seen as food for people experiencing poverty, given that onions were plentiful and easy to grow. The modern French version, with cheese and bread, evolved much later.
  • The King’s Creation?: An interesting, albeit debated, legend attributes the creation of the modern French onion soup to King Louis XV of France. The story goes that the king was trapped in his hunting lodge with nothing but onions, butter, and champagne and thus concocted the soup.
  • Hangover Cure: In 18th century France, French onion soup was considered a fashionable hangover cure among the Parisian party crowd.
  • In the Spotlight: French onion soup has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows as a symbol of comfort and sophistication. For example, it has a prominent role in Pixar’s “Ratatouille,” which symbolizes the transformation of simple ingredients into a culinary masterpiece.
  • French Onion Soup Day: A day dedicated to celebrating this delicious dish, National French Onion Soup Day is celebrated on November 21 in the United States.
  • Cheese Controversy: While most recipes suggest using Gruyère cheese for the perfect French onion soup, there’s a bit of controversy. Some French chefs insist that Comté cheese, another type of French cheese, offers a better flavor and melt.

What Makes The Soup Special? 

We kind of ruined the surprise already. The secret ingredient is the hidden beef stock. The depth of flavor the stock brings adds a warming richness that cannot be replaced.

You’d be wrong if you thought this soup was all about onions. The overall flavor will end up surprising you.

But as with everything, you can’t pick up any old stock or throw some onions into the pot.

You need to perfect both ingredients to create a flawless French onion soup.

French Onion Soup

Ingredients List

Onions1.3 kg
Beef Stock7 to 8 cups
Baguette½ (Sliced)
Gruyere Cheese1.5 cups (shredded)
White Wine½ cup
Flour2 tablespoons
Unsalted Butter3 tablespoons
Worcestershire Sauce1 tablespoon
Garlic1 tablespoon (minced)
Bay Leaf2
Thyme3 sprigs
SaltTo taste
PepperTo taste
Oil2 tablespoons

Ingredient Tips

  • Onions: Yellow onions are traditionally used for their balance of sweetness and astringency. However, you could experiment with different types, like red onions for a more robust flavor or sweet Vidalia onions for a milder taste.
  • Butter and Olive Oil: The combination of butter and olive oil helps prevent the onions from burning during caramelization. The butter brings a creamy, rich flavor, while the olive oil has a higher smoke point, protecting the butter from burning.
  • Flour: This thickens the soup slightly, but ensures it’s cooked adequately with the onions to remove any raw flour taste.
  • Wine: Choose a dry white wine that you enjoy drinking. The flavor will concentrate as it cooks, so a good quality one is essential. You can replace it with more broth if you prefer to cook with something other than wine.
  • Herbs: Fresh herbs can be used instead of dried for a more vibrant flavor. Remember that fresh herbs are less potent, so you must use them more.
  • Bread: A crusty French baguette is traditionally used, but any hearty bread that can hold up to the broth will work.
  • Cheese: Gruyère is the classic choice due to its excellent melting properties and slightly nutty flavor. You could also use Emmental, Comté, or a combination. For a richer flavor, try a mix of Gruyère and Parmesan.

How To Pick The Best Beef Stock?

First, the critical ingredient is beef stock, so you cannot buy any old brand. If you can splurge on one ingredient, make it the stock. The flavor it will add to your soup is incomparable.

The stock will act as your base flavor. It gives the meal body without adding extra textures.

If you don’t like beef stock, you can swap it for chicken. However, it won’t have the same richness. That said, chicken stock is easier to find in grocery stores, and you can always make chicken stock at home.

If you have the time, try out a few top-brand beef stocks and see which one has the largest body of flavor.

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

You can vary the recipe for French Onion Soup to accommodate different dietary preferences or restrictions. Here are some modifications you might consider:


  • You could substitute the sugar in caramelizing the onions with a keto-approved sweetener for a keto-friendly version. Also, omit the bread or use a keto-friendly bread alternative.


  • Paleo adherents avoid grains, so you’d want to replace the traditional bread with a paleo-friendly version. Be sure to use a high-quality bone broth for added nutrients.


  • The main component of French onion soup that contains gluten is the bread. Use gluten-free bread instead, and ensure your broth is also gluten-free.

Whole 30

  • For a Whole-30 compliant French Onion Soup, you must omit the bread and the cheese. While this does change the character of the dish somewhat, the rich flavor of the caramelized onions and broth will still make for a satisfying soup.


  • Substitute the beef broth with a robust vegetable broth and use vegan cheese or nutritional yeast instead of traditional cheese for the topping. Ensure the bread is vegan as well.
French Onion Soup

Recipe Directions

  • Use a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot over low heat.
  • Add oil and butter, then onions. Cook for 1 hour until soft and sweet but not brown.
  • Add kosher salt and sugar. Cook for another 15 minutes.
  • Pour in Vinegar and cook for 5 minutes to balance flavors.
  • Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute to thicken the soup.
  • Pour in wine to deglaze, then add beef stock.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes to meld flavors.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and cover.
  • Toast French bread slices, rub with garlic, and top with Gruyère cheese.
  • Broil until the cheese is melted and golden.
  • Ladle hot soup into bowls.
  • Top with cheese-covered croutons.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

How To Caramelize Onions?

The second essential ingredient in this soup is its namesake. The onions you use don’t need to be top quality. It’s what you do with them that counts.

You need to caramelize them.

Our method below will walk you through the process, but we want to offer some context first.

Caramelizing your onions will create a subtle sweetness. It’s a time-consuming step, but your soup may be too rich if you ignore this part of the process.

Balancing your beef stock and onions will help you make the perfect soup. If you skip this step, you might only take a few sips from your meal before needing a break.

Prepare yourself, as caramelizing onions should take 45 minutes to 1 hour. Anything less than this will not create the balancing sweetness you’ll need.

French Onion Soup

Variations, Add-Ons, and Toppings

French onion soup is a classic dish with a well-established recipe, but there’s always room for personal touches. Here are some optional add-ons that could enhance or alter the flavors:

  • Different Cheeses: While Gruyère is traditional, you could try using other types of cheese that melt well, like fontina, provolone, or even a sharp white cheddar.
  • Alcohol: Some people enjoy adding a splash of cognac, brandy, or sherry to the soup and the wine for added depth of flavor.
  • Herbs and Spices: A sprig of fresh rosemary or some sage could offer a new dimension to the soup. A pinch of nutmeg or allspice adds warmth and complexity.
  • Garlic: Rubbing a cut clove of garlic on the toasted bread before adding it to the soup can boost the flavor.
  • Mushrooms: Adding some finely chopped sautéed mushrooms to the soup can provide a pleasant texture contrast and deepen the savory flavors.
  • Croutons: Instead of a single slice of bread, you could top your soup with several smaller croutons.
  • Roasted Garlic or Onion: Roasting an onion or a head of garlic and then adding it to the soup while it simmers can add a deeper, more caramelized flavor.

Scaling The Recipe

Soup recipes can generally be scaled up or down relatively quickly to accommodate more or fewer servings. Here are some things to consider:

Scaling Up

  • Pot Size: Ensure that your pot is large enough to handle the increased volume of soup.
  • Cooking Time: While the preparation steps remain the same, the cooking time may need to be slightly adjusted. For instance, a larger volume of soup might take longer to bring to a boil.
  • Ingredient Ratios: Maintain the same ratios of ingredients when you scale up. If a soup recipe calls for 2 onions and 4 cups of broth for 4 servings, it would need 3 and 6 cups for 6 servings.

Scaling Down

  • Ingredient Ratios: As with scaling up, maintain the same ingredient ratios when scaling down.
  • Cooking Time: Smaller quantities usually cook quicker, so monitor your soup to prevent it from overcooking.
  • Storing Ingredients: If scaling down a recipe leaves you with leftover ingredients, plan how to keep them. Some ingredients, like broth, can be frozen for future use.
  • Portion Sizes: Remember that smaller portions may cool down faster, so serve immediately after cooking or keep it warm until serving.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

French Onion Soup is traditionally garnished in a unique way that is integral to its character and appeal. Rather than sprinkling something at the end, the garnish is a slice or two of crusty bread topped with cheese, then broiled until melted and bubbly. 

Here are the traditional garnishing steps:

  • Bread: A slice of toasted French baguette is often used. The bread is toasted until it’s crisp and golden, then placed directly on the soup.
  • Cheese: Gruyère is the traditional choice due to its excellent melting properties and nutty, slightly sweet flavor. The cheese is generously grated or sliced over the bread, completely covering it.
  • Broiling: The soup bowls are placed under the broiler until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and golden in spots. This step gives the soup its characteristic “au gratin” finish.
French Onion Soup

Can I Make The Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

A slow cooker and an Instant Pot can be excellent tools for making French Onion Soup. Here are the essential adaptations you would need to make:

Slow Cooker

  • Start by caramelizing your onions in a pan on the stove as you normally would. This essential step develops the rich, sweet flavor that is the hallmark of French Onion Soup.
  • Once your onions are caramelized, transfer them to your slow cooker along with the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and broth.
  • Set your slow cooker to low and let it cook for about 6-8 hours. This slow, gentle cooking will allow the flavors to meld beautifully.
  • Before serving, prepare your bread by toasting it, then topping it with cheese and broiling it until melted. Add this to the individual bowls of soup right before serving.

Instant Pot

  • Use the sauté function on the Instant Pot to caramelize your onions, adding in the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme towards the end.
  • Once your onions are caramelized, add your broth to the Instant Pot, close the lid, and set the pressure to high. Cook for about 20 minutes.
  • After the cooking time is up, use the quick-release function to release the pressure.
  • Prepare your bread by toasting it, topping it with cheese, and broiling it until it is melted. As with the slow cooker version, add this to the individual soup bowls before serving.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

While making your broth for French Onion Soup would undoubtedly give you a richer and deeper flavor, using store-bought broth is perfectly fine, especially when time or resources are limited. Here are some considerations:

Store-Bought Broth

  • Convenience: It’s ready to use, saving you the time and effort of making your own.
  • Consistency: The flavor and saltiness are consistent, which can help ensure predictable results.

Homemade Broth

  • Flavor: Homemade broth is usually more flavorful and more decadent than store-bought.
  • Control: You have complete control over the ingredients and the sodium level.
  • No Preservatives: There are no preservatives or artificial ingredients in homemade broth.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup? 

French Onion Soup is traditionally made with caramelized onions, beef broth, bread, and cheese. Here are a few ways you might be able to incorporate seafood, pasta, or additional vegetables into your French Onion Soup:

Seafood: While it’s uncommon to see seafood in French Onion Soup, you could add some for a unique twist. Shrimp or crab could provide a nice contrast to the rich, sweet soup. 

Pasta: Small types of pasta, such as ditalini or orzo, could be added to French Onion Soup to make it heartier. Cook the pasta separately, then add it to the soup just before serving to prevent it from becoming too soft. 

Vegetables: Additional vegetables could undoubtedly be added to French Onion Soup, although it might change the dish’s characteristic flavor. Consider vegetables that would complement the sweet, rich flavors of the soup, such as leeks, celery, or carrots. 

French Onion Soup

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Soup

The tips and tricks are categorized as requested:

Prepping Tips

  • Onion Selection: Choose yellow or white onions for their sweet flavor profile. Sweet onions also work well.
  • Slicing Onions: Slice the onions thinly and consistently to ensure even cooking.
  • Grating Cheese: Grate the cheese yourself for the freshest flavor and best melt. Pre-shredded cheese often contains additives to prevent clumping, which can affect the texture when melted.

Cooking Time Tips

  • Caramelizing Onions: This is the heart of French Onion Soup. Be patient and simmer the onions until they’re deeply caramelized. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, but it’s worth it for the rich, sweet flavor it develops.
  • Simmering the Soup: Let the soup simmer reasonably once all the ingredients are combined. This allows all the flavors to meld together.
  • Broiling the Bread and Cheese: Watch closely when broiling the cheese-topped bread – it can go from melted to burned quickly. The goal is a nice, bubbly golden top.
French Onion Soup

Nutritional Values

French Onion Soup is high in Vitamin C (from the onions) and Calcium (from the cheese). It’s also a good source of Iron. However, it can be high in sodium, especially if using pre-made broth or adding extra salt. Balancing indulgent meals like this with plenty of nutrient-dense, lower-calorie foods in your overall diet is essential.

What Are The Total Calories In Soup? 

The total calories in the soup can significantly vary depending on the ingredients used, the preparation method, and the serving size.

For example, a cup (about 250 ml) of broth-based vegetable soup might contain as few as 80-100 calories. In contrast, a cream-based soup like clam chowder might have 200-250 calories per cup. 

More complex soups, such as French onion soup with cheese, can contain upwards of 300-350 calories per cup, mainly due to the cheese and bread topping.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Soup

French onion soup can be suitable or easily adaptable for various dietary preferences and restrictions. Still, there are certain factors to keep in mind:


  • Traditional French onion soup is not vegetarian or vegan because it typically contains beef broth and Gruyère cheese. However, the broth can be replaced with vegetable broth, and the cheese can be substituted with a vegetarian or vegan alternative.


  • The soup itself can be made gluten-free by ensuring that the broth used is gluten-free (some store-bought broths can contain gluten). The bread traditionally used as a topping must also be a gluten-free variety.

Dairy-Free/Lactose Intolerance 

  • The butter used to caramelize the onions and the cheese topping would need to be replaced with lactose-free or non-dairy alternatives.

Low Sodium 

  • French onion soup can be quite high in sodium, mainly if using store-bought broth. For a low-sodium version, use a low-sodium broth and limit additional salt.

Low Calorie/Weight Loss 

  • French onion soup can be fairly calorie-dense, particularly with cheese-topped bread. For a lighter version, limit the cheese used, consider a lighter broth (like vegetable or chicken), and opt for whole grain bread or skip the bread entirely.

Health Benefits Of The Soup

Soup, especially when homemade with fresh ingredients, can provide a range of health benefits:

  • Hydration: Soup, being high in water content, is an excellent source of hydration. This is particularly important when you’re sick and need to keep hydrated but might not feel like drinking water.
  • Nutrient-Rich: Soups made with various vegetables, lean meats, and legumes can provide a wide range of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber. This can support overall health and well-being.
  • Weight Management: Soup can be a part of a healthy weight loss plan because it’s filling but typically low in calories. The high water and fiber content can keep you full longer, reducing your tendency to overeat.
  • Digestion: Many soups, especially broth-based ones, are easy on the stomach and aid digestion. The liquid nature of soup can also help in easing the digestion process.
  • Immune System Boost: Certain soups, like the classic chicken soup, contain ingredients that boost the immune system. Ingredients like garlic, onion, chicken, and various herbs and spices are all good for you when you feel under the weather.
  • Convenience: Soups can be easily prepared, made in large batches, and stored well. They can be a convenient option to ensure a nutritious meal is ready when needed.
  • Versatility: Soups can be adapted to suit dietary restrictions or preferences. They can be vegetarian or vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, low sodium, etc.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

How Can I Make The Soup Lower In Sodium?

There are several ways to make French Onion Soup (or any soup, for that matter) lower in sodium:

  • Use Low-Sodium Broth: Opt for a low-sodium or no-sodium beef or vegetable broth.
  • Cut Back on Added Salt: While the recipe calls for salt, you can always reduce the amount or eliminate it, especially if you’re using broth, which already contains sodium.
  • Avoid Salted Butter: Use unsalted butter for caramelizing the onions.
  • Cheese Selection: Choose a cheese lower in sodium. Swiss cheese tends to be lower in sodium than other cheeses. Alternatively, you can reduce the amount of cheese used.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Canned or preserved foods usually contain more sodium. Using fresh onions and homemade broth can help reduce the sodium level.
  • Add More Herbs and Spices: Increase the flavors with fresh herbs and spices to compensate for the lower salt content. Thyme, bay leaves, or ground black pepper can add depth to the soup’s flavor.

How Can I Make The Soup Lower In Sugar?

The sugar in French Onion Soup primarily comes from the natural sugars present in the onions and the added sugar used to aid in caramelization. Here’s how you can reduce sugar content:

  • Reduce Added Sugar: While some sugar helps speed up caramelization, you can limit or even omit it. The onions will still caramelize from their natural sugars; it might take longer.
  • Select Onions Wisely: Some onions have lower sugar content than others. For example, yellow onions typically have less sugar than sweet onions, so choose accordingly.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: It can add a sweet and tangy flavor to your soup. If you’re concerned about sugar, use it sparingly or look for a low-sugar variety.
  • Bread & Cheese Topping: Consider using smaller amounts of the bread and cheese topping, as these can also contribute to the sugar content. Alternatively, choose a low-sugar bread option.
Soup lover

How To Serve The Tomato Soup At Its Best?

Serving French Onion Soup can be a part of a memorable dining experience if done correctly. Here are some tips for serving it in the best possible way:

  • Use Oven-Safe Bowls: French Onion Soup is traditionally served in individual oven-safe bowls or crocks. This allows the soup to be broiled right before serving, giving the cheese on top a delightful, crispy, golden crust.
  • Garnish: While not required, you can garnish the soup with a sprinkle of fresh thyme, parsley, or chives to add a touch of color and new flavor.
  • Serve Hot: French Onion Soup is best served after broiling the cheese. Be careful, as the bowl will be hot.
  • Serving Utensils: Provide soup spoons and extra napkins. French Onion Soup can be messy due to the melted cheese topping.
  • Pairings: Pair the soup with a fresh side salad or a hearty sandwich for a complete meal. A glass of white or red wine (like a Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon) that complements the rich flavors of the soup could also be a great addition.
  • Bread: If you’re not using bread as a topping, consider serving a warm, crusty baguette on the side. The bread is perfect for soaking up the flavorful broth.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement French Onion Recipe 

French onion soup is hearty and rich and pairs well with lighter, refreshing side dishes. Here are some suggestions:

Salad: A crisp green salad with a tangy vinaigrette can help cut through the soup’s richness. A classic French salad with frisée lettuce, Dijon mustard vinaigrette, and perhaps a few lardons or a poached egg would be particularly appropriate.

Roasted Vegetables: Lightly seasoned and roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts, asparagus, or bell peppers can complement the soup well.

Bread: Although the soup often comes with a slice of bread on top, fresh, crusty French bread can be an excellent addition for those who love to dunk their bread in the soup.

Quiche: A slice of a light quiche, perhaps with a vegetable filling, can pair nicely with the soup for a more substantial meal.

Cheese Plate: A small selection of French cheeses, with some grapes or apple slices, could be an excellent way to continue the French theme of the meal.

Charcuterie Board: A small charcuterie board with a selection of cured meats can provide a salty counterpoint to the sweet and rich soup.

Fruit: For a light finish, serve fresh fruit, like a refreshing citrus salad or a simple apple or pear sliced.

Soup lover

How Long Can We Store The Soup?

Storing soup properly is crucial to maintaining its freshness, flavor, and safety. Here’s how to keep your French Onion Soup or other types of soup:

  • Cooling the Soup: It’s essential to let the soup cool before storing it to prevent the growth of bacteria. You can speed up this process by placing the pot in an ice bath and stirring the soup to disperse the heat. However, don’t leave the soup to cool at room temperature for more than two hours to avoid food safety risks.
  • Reheating the Soup: When ready to serve, reheat the soup on the stove over medium heat until it’s hot and steaming. If reheating from frozen, it’s best to thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Can You Make The Soup In Advance?

French Onion Soup is a great dish to make in advance. Here’s why:

  • Flavor Development: The caramelized onions and broth flavors can meld together and intensify when the soup is made ahead of time, creating a more robust taste.
  • Convenience: Making it in advance allows you to have a ready meal for quick and easy dinners or when guests come over.

To make French Onion Soup in advance, follow the recipe before adding the bread and cheese topping. Allow the soup to cool completely, then store it in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container.

When you’re ready to serve, reheat the soup on the stove. While the soup is reheating, toast your bread and prepare your cheese. Once the soup is hot, transfer it into oven-safe bowls, add your toasted bread, sprinkle with cheese, and broil until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

What Can Be Done With Leftover Soup? 

Leftover French Onion Soup can be reheated and enjoyed as is, but if you’re interested in changing things up, here are a few creative ideas:

  • French Onion Pasta: Toss the leftover soup with cooked pasta, top with extra cheese, and bake until bubbly for a comforting pasta bake.
  • French Onion Dip: Reduce the soup on the stove until most liquid evaporates. Combine with cream cheese for a flavorful dip for chips or veggies.
  • Savory French Onion Bread Pudding: Replace the milk or cream in a bread pudding recipe with equal soup. Add sautéed vegetables or cooked meat if desired.
  • French Onion Risotto: Use the leftover soup instead of some of the broth in a risotto recipe. The onions and cheese will add extraordinary flavor to the risotto.
  • Sauce for Protein: Reduce the soup until thick and use it as a sauce for grilled or roasted meats.
  • French Onion Grilled Cheese: Use the onions and cheese from the soup as a filling for a grilled cheese sandwich. You can dip the sandwich in the leftover broth.
  • Stuffed Vegetables: Use the soup to cook rice or quinoa, then use the mixture to stuff vegetables like bell peppers or zucchini.
Soup lover

Special Tools/Equipment Needed

  • Good Quality Chef’s Knife: To efficiently slice the onions. A sharp knife can make this task faster and easier.
  • Cutting Board: Essential for slicing the onions.
  • Large Heavy-Bottomed Pot or Dutch Oven: Caramelize the onions and simmer the soup. A heavy-bottomed pot will distribute heat evenly, preventing the onions from burning.
  • Wooden Spoon: To stir the onions while caramelizing and scrape the flavorful bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Cheese Grater: To grate the Gruyère cheese for the topping.
  • Oven-Safe Soup Bowls: Since the soup needs to go under the broiler to melt and brown the cheese, you’ll need bowls that can withstand high oven temperatures.
  • Baking Sheet: Hold the soup bowls under the broiler. It’s much safer and easier to remove a hot baking sheet from the oven than to try to handle individual hot soup bowls.
  • Ladle: To serve the soup in the bowls.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of Onions Should I Use For French Onion Soup?

Yellow or sweet onions are generally recommended due to their naturally sweet flavor, amplified when caramelized. However, you can experiment with other varieties for different flavor profiles.

Can I Make French Onion Soup Without Alcohol?

Yes, the wine in the recipe is used to deglaze the pan and add depth to the flavor. Still, it can be substituted with non-alcoholic wine or additional broth.

Why Does It Take So Long To Caramelize Onions?

Caramelizing onions involves slowly cooking to draw out their natural sugars and develop a deep, sweet, and complex flavor. Rushing this process can result in uneven cooking or burning.

Can I Freeze French Onion Soup?

Yes, you can freeze the soup base. However, adding the bread and cheese topping fresh when you’re ready to serve the soup is recommended.

Why Is My French Onion Soup Too Sweet?

If your soup is too sweet, it might be because the onions were caramelized too much or a sweet variety of onions was used. Balance the sweetness by adding more salt or some acidic component, like Vinegar or wine.

The Best French Onion Soup Recipe You'll Ever Try

The Best French Onion Soup Recipe You’ll Ever Try

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Soup Recipe


Prep time


Cooking time





French Onion Soup is a classic French delicacy. Caramelized onions are its star, simmered to draw out their sweetness. The soup gains depth and flavor. A splash of wine enhances its complexity. This soup is a warm embrace on cold days, offering layers of comforting flavors in every spoonful.


  • Onions

  • Beef Stock

  • Baguette

  • Gruyere Cheese

  • White Wine

  • Flour

  • Unsalted Butter

  • Worcestershire Sauce

  • Garlic

  • Bay Leaf

  • Thyme

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Oil

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparing the Foundation
    Set the Stage: Place a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot on your stove. Adjust the burner to low heat to ensure a gentle cooking process.
    The Foundation: Into the pot, introduce oil and butter, letting them melt and blend.
    Onion Magic: Introduce the onions to the oil-butter mix. Allow these to cook slowly for about 1 hour. You’re aiming for onions that are soft and sweet. Be vigilant to prevent browning.
  • Flavor Intensification
    Seasoning: Sprinkle in some kosher salt and sugar. Let the onions cook for another 15 minutes. They’ll start releasing deeper flavors.
    A Touch of Acidity: To add a slight tang and balance the flavors, pour in the Vinegar and let it cook with the onions for 5 minutes.
    Thickening: For added body, stir in the flour. This brief cooking for 1 minute helps remove its raw taste and thicken the soup.
  • Liquid Gold
    Deglazing: Introduce wine to the pot. This will help lift all the caramelized bits stuck at the bottom. This process is called deglazing, and it ensures every bit of flavor is incorporated.
    Deepening the Base: It is time to pour in the beef stock. It’s a key component that will give the soup its rich, robust flavor.
  • Final Simmer
    Blend and Infuse: Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to let it simmer gently for 30 minutes. This simmering will ensure all ingredients meld harmoniously.
  • Taste Test
    Perfecting the Flavor: Season your soup with additional salt and pepper as per your taste. Once satisfied, remove it from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  • The Crunch Factor
    Bread Prep: Take slices of French bread and toast them till they achieve a lovely golden hue. Rub the toast with a garlic clove for an extra layer of flavor. Finally, generously top each slice with Gruyère cheese.
    Melty Goodness: Place the cheese-topped toasts under a broiler. You aim to melt the cheese until it becomes bubbly and acquires a golden tint.
  • Serving with Flair
    Presentation: With a ladle, pour the hot soup into individual bowls.
    Final Touch: Place the cheese-covered croutons on top of each bowl.
    Serve the soup hot, and savor every sip and bite. Enjoy your culinary masterpiece!


  • French onion soup is a timeless and popular dish.
  • It is characterized by its caramelized onions, which add a sweet and savory flavor.
  • The soup is traditionally made with a rich beef broth, but vegetarian versions are also available.
  • It is often topped with melted cheese, such as Gruyère or Swiss, which adds a creamy and gooey texture.
  • French onion soup is typically served with toasted bread, which provides a satisfying crunch.
  • The combination of flavors and textures makes it a comforting and satisfying dish.
  • It is commonly enjoyed as an appetizer or light meal.
  • French onion soup has a long history in French cuisine and is a beloved classic worldwide.
Lana Rivera

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