French Onion Soup Recipe

French onion soup is a famous and popular soup.


  • Prep: 50 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Cooking Method: Cooking
  • Recipe Cuisine: French


  • For Caramelized Onion:
  • 5-6 large onions
  • 2cloves of garlic
  • For Soup:
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • some soy sauce, fish sauce (optional)
  • For the Store-Bought Stock:
  • 1bunch of parsley
  • thyme sprigs
  • 2medium-size carrots (sliced)
  • peppercorns (a bit to sprinkle)
  • 3garlic cloves (halved)
  • 2teaspoons bay leaves
  • 6cups beef stock (high-quality)
  • For The Topping:
  • 1French baguette (day-old, for making croutons for topping)
  • 225grams Gruyere cheese (shredded, for topping)

A few things make you as happy on chilly winter days as a hot bowl of soup. When everywhere is covered with snow and ice, having French onion soup for your holiday lunch/ dinner time is a treat welcomed by most.
This simple meal can put a big smile on the faces of your family members or fill the bellies and hearts of your guests with joy. You can create a lovely dinner table for everyone to enjoy a good meal accompanied by intimate chats.
The famous French soup or “soupe à l’oignon” is simple and humble enough to try. Plus, lots of sweet, caramelized onions and crispy bread with melted cheese guarantee a heavenly taste.
When making it, you should consider two main points: the first is the stock you pour into it, and the second is caramelizing the onions. Making homemade beef stock is our best option, but it costs a lot. Therefore, if you go for the store-bought store, try different brands or ask an informed person about which one to choose.
Keep reading to find a 100% homemade version of French onion soup made from scratch.


Step 1

If you do not want to use ready-made fried onions or onion powder, you must prepare a large sum of onions. Cut both sides of the onion and peel off the skin. To make the process fast and easy, you can prep and peel all of the onions before you start slicing them. Remove the stem because it can be a little bit tougher than the rest of the onion. Now, thinly slice them in parallels. This way, it will be easier to cut them, and they look much more appealing. Moreover, they will endure the long cooking process and not lose shape. Slice them all and set them aside.

Step 2

It is time to prepare the homemade stock broth. It is ok if you do not have any homemade leftover stock in your fridge since we will learn how to turn the store-bought version into a homemade one.
Bring a pot and pour the stock broth you have bought into it. Add a sprinkle of peppercorn and put fresh parsley, fresh thyme sprigs, sliced carrots, several halved garlic, and two dried bay leaves into your pot. Let the pot simmer for around one hour. After that, your homemade stock broth is ready. Set it aside.

Step 3

Turning back to the onions, it is time for caramelization. Choose a large pot or Dutch oven. Place it over medium heat and add olive oil. Then add all of the onions. While uncovered, sauté onions for 10 minutes and stir them occasionally. After 10 minutes, the onions start to soften. To help them caramelize faster, sprinkle them with 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar. Then continue sautéing uncovered for another 30 to 45 minutes and stir until the onions get caramelized. Towards the end of this process, do more frequent stirring to prevent scorching or burning. Quickly mince up two large garlic cloves. Add the minced garlic to your caramelized onions and sauté another minute until the garlic is fragrant.

Step 4

Then add two tablespoons of flour to give your soup a pleasant flavor down the line. Scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze and get all of that excellent flour flavor. Continue cooking for about 3 minutes.

Step 5

Now, add your beef broth. Beef stock is better for this recipe because it will give you a better flavor and color. Season the soup with a teaspoon of salt. It is not a fixed rule, but you can add a splash of soy sauce and fish sauce to deepen your meaty flavor. Bring the soup to a boil and then cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, then continue cooking for another 30 minutes.

Step 6

While the soup is finishing up, you can work on your classic French onion soup crouton topping. Use a knife and slice the baguette into half-inch cubes. Preheat your oven to 200 C (392F) and place your baguette croutons onto a baking sheet. Bake those for about six to eight minutes or until golden on the edges. Remove the little crouton toasts from the oven once done. Set them aside.

Step 7

Start shredding the Gruyere cheese on the large holes of a box grater. This cheese works magic with your soup.

Step 8

After 30 minutes of simmering, season your soup to taste and adjust the spices if necessary. Also, make sure to remove the bay leaf and the springs of thyme.

Step 9

Pour the French onion soup into a bowl. And once the hot soup is in the bowl, sprinkle on a little bit of Gruyere cheese so that it can melt into the soup. This cheese is mild in flavor and pleasant, and it melts beautifully. Then add some baguette croutons and finally, put them inside the preheated oven to broil for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Step 10

Drizzle some olive oil on your topping and for some color contrast, garnish with fresh chives. Your onion soup is ready.

Cooking Notes

Caramelizing the onions takes time and patience on your part, but notice that onion is one of the two most essential components of your meal. If you caramelize them more, you can hope to extract more flavor and color from them.

Sometimes the dry outer layer of the onion can be tough to remove. So, you can take the top two layers to make the process so much faster. 

To avoid onion tears, you can use ski goggles! or some swimming ones. As long as your eyes are covered up, you will have no problem peeling and slicing onions. 

Properly caramelizing does take time and, don’t be tempted to increase the heat because you are more likely to burn the onions. It’ll be well worth it in the end. 

Because you want to toast your baguettes, and you want them to brown nicely, brush both sides with a little bit of olive oil. 


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