onion soup french recipe

Classic French Onion Soup

2 hrs 40 mins
Vadim Rachok
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Recipe Ingredients Video Nutrition
7 / 10
Health score
Egg free dishNut Free Dish

Let’s make French Onion Soup. This is a perfect comforting dish for a cold day. With this top-rated French Onion Soup recipe you can make a restaurant-quality dish. All you need to do is follow the instructions and enjoy the process of preparation. Plus, along with the recipe, you get our ingredient tips and storage secrets.

French onion soup, a timeless classic that brings warmth and richness to any dining experience. This recipe captures the essence of this beloved dish, offering a symphony of flavors with the perfect balance of caramelized onions, robust broth, and the crowning glory of melted cheeses.

What Is The French Onion Soup?

French onion soup is traditionally made with golden-brown caramelized onions, giving the soup its characteristic sweet and savory flavor. The caramelized onions are then simmered in a savory beef broth, which is often flavored with herbs such as thyme and bay leaves. Soup is usually served hot, with a slice of crusty bread and melted cheese such as Gruyère or Emmental.

French onion soup’s exact origins are unclear, but it is believed to have originated in 18th-century Paris. At that time, onions were a staple ingredient in French cuisine because they were cheap and easy to find, making them a common choice for soups and stews.

Over the years, French onion soup has become a popular dish in France and around the world, appreciated for its comforting qualities and depth of taste. It has also inspired many variations and adaptations. However, the essence of the dish remains rooted in its simple yet satisfying combination of caramelized onions, rich broth, and gooey cheese.

French Onion Soup Ingredients

  • Onions: The star ingredient of the soup, onions are caramelized to bring out their natural sweetness and depth of flavor.
  • White Wine (Sherry): Enhances the overall flavor of the soup by adding subtle acidity and complexity to the broth.
  • Brown Veal Broth: Provides a rich and savory base for the soup, adding depth of flavor and umami notes.
  • Anise: Adds licorice notes and aromatic complexity to the broth.
  • Thyme: Adds earthy and herbaceous notes that complement the sweetness of the caramelized onions.
  • Sugar: Caramelizes the onions and adds sweetness and richness to the soup.
  • Baguette: Baguette slices are traditionally toasted and placed on the soup before topping with cheese, adding texture and substance to each bite.
  • Gruyère cheese (slices): Melts beautifully on top of the toasted baguette slices, creating a gooey and indulgent topping that adds richness and depth of flavor to the soup.
  • Tet de Moine cheese: Another cheese option that is melted over the soup, adding a unique taste profile to the dish.
  • Butter: Used to sauté the onions and add richness to the soup, contributing to its luxurious texture and mouthfeel.

How to Make French Onion Soup?

French Onion Soup Recipe Step By Step 1-4

French Onion Soup Recipe Step By Step 5-6

French Onion Soup Recipe Step By Step 7

  1. First, cut onions into half rings and sauté in butter with anise until golden brown. Then, add thyme and butter.
  2. Next, add sugar and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add white wine and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Then pour in the broth and simmer for 2-3 hours. 
  5. Remove the soup from heat and season it to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. To serve: Pour the thick soup into a deep bowl, place the crouton on top, and sprinkle with two kinds of cheese.
  7. Bake the soup in the oven at 365 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.

Chef Recipe Tips:

  • You can add a sprig of tarragon to the soup for a richer and fresher flavor. 
  • The veal stock can be replaced by chicken stock. 
  • It is very important to use the wine “Sherry”, it will make the taste classic and correct

What Cheese Is Best For French Onion Soup?

The traditional topping for French onion soup is Gruyère, but you can also use other cheeses. For maximum decadence, most French onion soups are topped with three kinds of cheese.
This recipe calls for Gruyère and Tet de Moine cheese. Gruyère cheese adds richness and depth of flavor to the soup. Tet de Moine cheese helps to add a unique taste profile to the dish. Other popular choices are Fontina and Mozzarella. Whichever cheese you choose, don’t skimp! French onion soup should be rich and indulgent.

the best french onion soup recipe

What’s the Easiest Way to Caramelize Onions? 

The easiest and most hands-free way to caramelize onions is to do it in the oven. That’s right, you can actually do this without having to stand over the stove and stir every two minutes for up to an hour! Start by placing the onions on the stove, then cover partially, leaving a crack to allow the steam to escape. Place in the oven for about an hour. Stir once halfway through. At the end of the hour, the onions will not be completely caramelized. They’ll need another 10 to 15 minutes on the stove. But they’ll cook a lot faster after this head start in the oven! 

Can You Make French Onion Soup in Advance?

Of course! You can make step 4 a day or two ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve it, reheat it again on the stovetop and then continue with the rest of the recipe.

French Onion Soup

What Onions Are Better For French Onion Soup?

Thinly sliced yellow onions are traditionally used in French onion soup. You can also use red or white onions to make a delicious soup, it just depends on what you like and what you have to hand.

How to Store French Onion Soup

To store French Onion Soup properly, allow it to cool completely before pouring it into an airtight container or into individual serving bowls. Refrigerate immediately, making sure to keep the soup at a constant temperature of 40°F (4°C) or below. If you are storing them in individual bowls, cover them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. French Onion Soup will be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

How to Reheat French Onion Soup

If you want to reheat the French Onion Soup, just bring it to a boil on the stove. You can add more toasted bread and cheese if you want to go the extra mile, but you can also use store-bought croutons for quick and easy results.

You can also reheat the soup in the microwave. Cover the bowl loosely with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap to prevent splattering. Microwave the soup on high power for 1 minute, stirring between each microwave cycle, until heated through. This usually takes 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of the portion and your microwave power. Be careful not to overheat the soup to prevent it from boiling over.

How to Freeze French Onion Soup

You can easily freeze the French Onion Soup without using the croutons: Simply transfer the chilled soup to an airtight, freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months. You can also freeze it in serving-size portions for future convenience-no need to thaw and refreeze the whole batch.

To thaw frozen French Onion Soup, simply place it in the refrigerator and let it defrost overnight. In a hurry? You can thaw it faster by submerging the sealed container in cool water.

Certainly, this is not the easiest dish for digestion, but it is hearty and nutritious. A serving of this soup is a full-fledged meal: the high protein and fat content will provide satiety. The only thing that slightly affects this dish from a health perspective is the French baguette, as the white flour in its composition is a source of simple carbohydrates. If you want to make your meal as healthy as possible, replace the French bread with whole-grain bread. If you decide to skip the bread altogether with this soup, it will still be an excellent lunch or dinner, even for a summer diet (you can also replace regular bread with keto bread or flaxseed crackers).

Jenny Dobrynina
Jenny Dobrynina
Nutrition Editor
Health score:
7 / 10
Classic French Onion Soup
Author:Vadim Rachok
We have been trying French onion soup in restaurants for years, and my family and friends agree — none can compare to my recipe for taste and simplicity of preparation.
franch onion soup
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins
The ingridients you need:
5 pcs / 42 ounces (1,2 kg) onions
2,5 ounces (70 g) white wine (Sherry)
68 fluid ounces (2 l) brown veal broth
2 pcs anise stars
1 sprig thyme
0,7 ounces (20 g) sugar
4 ounces (120 g) baguette
1,4 ounces (40 g) Gruyère cheese (slices)
1 ounce (30 g) Tet de Moine cheese
1,4 ounces (40 g) Butter
vegetable oil for frying
Let’s start !

Cut onions into half rings and sauté in butter with anise until golden brown. Add thyme and butter.


Add sugar and cook for 1 minute.


Add white wine and cook for 2 minutes.


Then pour in the broth and simmer for 2-3 hours. 


Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.


To serve: Pour the thick soup into a deep bowl, place the crouton on top, and sprinkle with two kinds of cheese.


Bake in the oven at 365 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 2 Calories: 3484
% Daily Value *
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 44g56%
Saturated Fat 24g122%
Cholesterol 98mg33%
Sodium 1592mg69%
Total Carbohydrate 28g10%
Dietary Fiber 3g10%
Protein 21g 
Vitamin C 9mg44%
Calcium 452mg35%
Iron 2mg13%
Potassium 434mg9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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To elevate your French onion soup to culinary perfection, consider this pro tip: incorporate a splash of dry white wine during the onion caramelization process. This addition adds a layer of complexity, introducing nuanced flavors that harmonize with the sweetness of the onions. Choose a quality white wine that you enjoy, and allow it to deglaze the pan, extracting all those wonderful caramelized bits from the onions. Your taste buds will thank you for this extra touch of sophistication! When selecting cheeses for your French Onion Soup, don't hesitate to experiment with variations like Gruyère, Fontina, or mozzarella. The richness and indulgence of the soup demand a generous cheese topping, so let your taste preferences guide you to create a truly decadent experience. To enhance the depth of flavor, consider adding 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, as suggested by one community member. Additionally, toasting the bread before adding it to the soup introduces a delightful crunch that complements the silky texture of the onions. Storing and reheating this soup can be a breeze. Simply transfer cooled soup to an airtight container, excluding the croutons, and refrigerate for up to three or four days. For an encore, bring it to a boil on the stove, and add fresh broiled bread and cheese if desired. Freeze without the croutons in serving-size portions for convenient future indulgence. This French Onion Soup recipe is not just a dish; it's an invitation to savor the richness of French culinary heritage. Prepare it for a cozy evening or showcase it at a dinner party – the allure of this soup lies in its simplicity and unmatched flavor. Bon appétit!

Vadim Rachok
Vadim Rachok
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