Classic French Onion Soup ~ recipe inspired by two of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten and Julia Child. Caramelized onions in rich, flavor-loaded beef-wine broth topped with toasted croutons and gooey, melted Gruyere cheese.
Whenever my daughter sees French Onion Soup on the menu, she orders it. It’s been this way since she was a child. From the time they were small, we encouraged them to order for themselves in restaurants. Served us right, I guess because although she professed to love French Onion Soup, she really only liked the soup-soaked croutons and gooey melted cheese. Who could blame her?
My husband is never one to waste food and being a good sport he’d cheerfully polish off the rest of her soup, sans croutons and cheese. He found it impossible to deny her the French Onion Soup ~ or pretty much anything else even to this day.
This French Onion Soup is rich in flavor, loaded with caramelized onions, toasted croutons and tons of gooey melted cheese, because isn’t that everyone’s favorite part?
First, a couple of tips:
- Take your time caramelizing the onions. Low and slow for the deepest, richest onion flavor.
- Don’t rush simmering the broth either. Time transports it from basic to gourmet.
- Use the kind of dry red wine you’ll drink with the soup, like Cabernet or Pinot Noir.
- This soup tastes even better the next day. Great for lunch!
SLICING THE ONIONS:
This classic French Onion Soup is an easy soup to make. Slicing the onions may be the hardest part but there’s no getting around it. The soup needs lots of onions. Slice them thin, but not “paper thin” otherwise the onions will shrink too much in the caramelization process and almost disappear.
FRENCH ONION SOUP INGREDIENTS:
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- bay leaf
- fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- brown sugar
- red wine
- Worcestershire sauce
- beef stock
- French baguette
- Gruyere cheese
Thinly slice the onions then set them aside.
Add the butter and olive oil to a Dutch oven or heavy bottom soup pot over medium-low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions, finely minced thyme, salt, pepper and grated garlic then gently stir to combine so the onions are coated.
Cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally then increase the heat to medium-high, add the brown sugar and continue to cook (covered) for about 30 minutes or until the onions are completely caramelized.
Reduce the heat to medium/medium low then sprinkle in the flour. Stir to combine and cook 2-3 minutes or until a paste forms.
Pour in the wine and Worcestershire sauce then continue cooking over medium-low heat about 5 minutes letting the wine reduce.
Add the beef stock stirring to make sure the flour is completely blended then add the bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes.
Before serving taste the soup and add salt to your preferences (I have added up to 1 more teaspoon of salt a little at a time, tasting as I add).
Slice the baguette into about 1″ slices then brush olive oil onto both sides and transfer to a baking sheet (cooking spray can be used instead).
Under the broiler, lightly toast both sides of the bread then top with the grated cheese dividing equally. Return to the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Ladle the soup into bowls, top with cheesy croutons and serve hot.
Can I freeze this French Onion Soup?
Yes! This soup freezes really well up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container without the croutons and cheese.
If you tried this French Onion Soup recipe or any other on the blog, I’d love to hear from you with a star rating or comment.
Do we share a love of comfort foods and caramelized onions? Add the ingredients for the Best Salisbury Steak to your grocery list and let me know how you like it!
French Onion Soup
- 7 cups yellow onions thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons butter salted butter used
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (+more for croutons)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar firmly packed
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup red wine dry (Cabernet or Pinot Noir)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 1/2 cups beef stock
- 1 large bay leaf or 2 small
- 1 small french baguette cut in 1" slices
- 2 cups Gruyere cheese grated
- Thinly slice the onions then set aside. Add the butter and olive oil to a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-low heat.
- Once the butter has melted, add the onions, thyme, salt, pepper and grated garlic then gently stir to combine so the onions are coated with the butter-olive oil mixture.
- Cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking to make sure they aren't burning.
- Increase the heat to medium-high, add the brown sugar and continue to cook for about 30 minutes or until the onions are completely caramelized.
- Reduce the heat to medium/medium low then sprinkle in the flour. Stir to combine and cook 2-3 minutes or until a paste forms.
- Pour in the wine and Worcestershire sauce then continue cooking over medium-low heat about 5 minutes as the wine reduces.
- Add the beef stock stirring to make sure the flour is completely blended then add the bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt (I have added as much as 1 more teaspoon of salt, a little a time tasting after each addition).
- Slice the baguette into 1" slices then brush olive oil onto both sides and transfer to a baking sheet (cooking spray can also be used).
- Lightly toast both sides then divide the grated cheese between the slices. Return to the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with cheesy croutons. Serve hot.