A classic comfort food, French Onion Soup is loaded with sweet carmelized onions, rich, savory broth, oodles of melted cheese & crusty bread. Made with simple ingredients and a little time, this homey, satisfying soup is the ultimate in cozy for you and your family!
Chilly nights call for decadent spoonfuls of melted cheese, silky onions and a thick, savory broth that warms the soul. And who can resist that crusty bread topping? Soaked in brothy goodness and topped with even more cheese, the cheesy crouton on top of French Onion Soup is hands down everyone’s favorite! This classic soup recipe coaxes the best out of even the coldest of nights and, with a little time, is so easy to make!
What You Need To Make Cozy French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup is only made with a few basic ingredients that you probably already have. Grab a little bread and cheese at the grocery, and you’re ready to go!
- Onions– I use a mix of sweet onions (like Vidalia) and yellow onions. Mixing the onions creates a lovely layer of flavor.
- Butter, Garlic & Flour– For carmelizing the onions and creating a thickener for the soup base.
- Beef broth, Worcestershire Sauce, Red/ White Wine– the savory, rich liquid for the soup. A good quality broth or stock is key. Stay away from broths or wines that might have added sweeteners.
- Dried Thyme, Bay Leaves, Salt & Pepper– Herbs and spices to season
- Grated Cheese– Gruyere is the traditional choice. I like Provolone. You could also try Swiss or Gouda.
- Baguette Bread– Toasted baguette slices usually top French Onion Soup, but croutons also make a good bite sized, short cut option.
If you would like a wine substitute for this recipe, try 2 Tbsp of red or white wine vinegar + enough beef broth to equal 1/2 Cup.
How To Make Delicious French Onion Soup
Caramelize the onions. The first step to really good French Onion Soup is tenderly caramelized onions. It’s an easy process, but it does take a little patience. So settle in. This is where the first bit of transformative magic happens! Just cook those onions low and slow in butter until they turn from translucent, to blonde, to a rich dark caramel. It usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour. But it’s completely worth it! A little garlic and flour finishes the process.
Deglaze the pan and add the seasonings. Get that last bit of goodness from your caramelizing by deglazing the pan. Wine (or vinegar + broth) is the perfect vehicle for loosening up those cooked bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, plus it adds a a bit of bright acid to the mixture.
Simmer. Add the broth, herbs and seasonings and simmer for 30- 45 minutes. This is the second place in the recipe time performs its transformative magic. I am usually one to fudge or rush simmer times if I can, but I resist the temptation with French Onion Soup. During it’s simmer, this soup cooks down a bit, thickens up and all the flavors get richer, darker and more satisfying. Everything we expect French Onion Soup to be.
Don’t forget the topping!
After all, that crusty bread and melted cheese is the reason we eat French Onion Soup, right?
While your soup simmers, toast your sliced baguette. Then when your soup is ready, ladle it into oven safe crocks or ramekins. Add a little cheese to your soup before you add your toast points. This is what makes this soup the. best. ever! That cheese melts into the broth and becomes a delicious, stringy treasure as you spoon your way through your bowl.
Add your toasted baguette slices, top with more cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese is golden and melted.
What To Serve with French Onion Soup
This soup is a great started for a outstanding steak dinner, but most often we eat it our house with roast beef sandwiches and simple side salad!
Other Soup Recipes You’ll Love
- Creamy Chicken & Ravioli Soup
- Short Cut Parmesan Cauliflower Soup
- Italian Tortellini Soup with Sausage & Spinach
- Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
- Farmhouse Cheese Soup
- Southern Sweet Potato Soup
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Cozy French Onion Soup
- 3 large yellow onions
- 2 large sweet onions
- 1.5 tsp garlic
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 C red or white wine
- 64 oz beef broth
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
- 1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
- Cut onions. Cut ends off onions, slice in half. Place large flat end down. Slice onions into strips. Keep the strips 1/4 inch wide or wide so that they aren't too thin when they cook down.
- Caramelize onions. Melt butter in dutch oven or large stock pot over medium heat. Add onions. Stir to coat onions with butter. Stir every 5 minutes until onions become translucent, then blonde. Stir every 1-3 minutes as onions become a rich caramel color. Add splash of wine if onions begin to stick. This whole process usually takes 45 minutes – 1 hour. Stir in garlic. Add flour. Stir to coat onions.
- Deglaze pan & add seasonings. Add wine. While steaming, remove the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When pan is deglazed, add broth, Worcestershire, herbs & seasonings. Add only a portion of the salt you think you will need.
- Simmer. Let soup simmer for 30- 45 minutes. Taste. Add extra salt if needed.
- Toast the bread. When soup is nearing the end of its simmer, slice baguette and brush with olive oil. Toast in oven.
- Broil the topping. When soup is ready, place oven safe crocks or ramekins on a baking sheet. Ladle soup into the crocks. Top with 1-2 Tbsp grated Provolone cheese. Place toasted baguette slices on top of cheese. Then top baguette with about 1/4 C more cheese. Place under broiler in oven until cheese is golden and melted and soup is bubbly.