An incredible, classic French Onion Soup made with delicious caramelized onions, fresh herbs, and a flavorful broth. Topped with gruyere cheese and a toasted slice of garlic french bread. You’ll make this one again and again!
French Onion Soup
How to Make Classic French Onion Soup
While I usually make my soup in the slow cooker, this stove top version is one of my family's favorites! Yes, it takes a little bit of time, but it is just simmering.
- Caramelize Onions: Be sure to do this step on a nice and low heat. SLOWLY caramelize the onions. You don't want crispy and crunch onions. Taking the time makes sure this important part of the soup turns out just perfect!
- Add Wine/Seasoning: You could make this whatever wine you like and even with apple cider vinegar if you would like to keep it alcohol free. I've made with red or white wine, and I use sherry when I have it on hand. Whatever leftover wine you have on hand is just fine.
- Simmer: So important to not rush the simmering and to keep it on the lower heat as it creates all the dimensions of the soup. The broth becomes a lovely caramel color.
- Broil Cheese: Our favorite part of the soup! Simply ladle soup into your oven safe bowls (I used mini crocks). Top with the baguette slices and the cheese and broil until they are golden (just keep an eye while they are broiling so that they don't burn!).
How to make vegan french onion soup?
If you are trying to add more vegan foods to your diet, here is what you need to do!
- You could sub the cheese for a vegan version (I have tried Daiyan cheeses and they would work great with this recipe).
- Sub out the butter with olive oil (or use margarine).
- And what about the beef broth? No biggie to make it with vegetable broth.
- You would also have to sub the Worcestshire sauce for a vegan one, because the regular one has anchovies in it.
How do you make classic french onion soup?
Let’s chat ingredients:
- Onions: you could use white or yellow onions. Either one is fine and also a mixture of the two onions will turn out great!
- Flour: Using a bit of flour helps to thicken up the soup. Feel free to use your favorite gluten-free flour and it will turn out wonderful.
- Sherry or white wine: If you choose wine, choose a nice dry wine. It does give it a lovely flavor and the alcohol cooks down. Leave it out if you prefer and sub it with 1/2 cup grape juice concentrate plus 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar.
- Good quality beef broth. You can also use a mix of beef and chicken broth. Homemade beef broth would help enhance the flavor even more, but let’s be honest, not many of us have time to make homemade beef broth, so store-bought works well.
- Fresh thyme: Always go with fresh over dried.
- Worcestershire sauce. The flavors in worcestershire sauce are a mix of vinegar, garlic, chile, molasses, etc. A tablespoon goes along way to help bring out the umami flavors. I’m in love.
- Bread + gruyere cheese: Toasted baguette slices are dunked in the soup and then topped with sharp gruyere cheese. Simply magical!
What bowl do you cook French onion soup in?
You can add them to mini-crock oven proof bowls like I did or even one bigger bowl that is oven proof. I did both! I had extra, so I did make one bigger oven proof bowl and I shared it with my neighbor, and by the way, I just remembered, I need to get back my favorite red bowl!
Finally, here are the two options to make sure your soup turns out delicious:
Option 1: If you don’t have mini oven-safe crocks, this is the option for you. Just simply add the cheese to the baguette slices and then top with cheese. Place them on a baking sheet and broil until melted. Then add to the soup. Just take care to watch them while broiling. Shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
Option 2: If you have oven-safe mini crocks, add soup to crocks. Top soup with your toasted baguette slice, add cheese and broil until cheese melts.
However you prep the baguettes to melt the cheese, this soup will be spectacular!!
Final tips to make the best classic French Onion Soup recipe
- The most time consuming part of this recipe is caramelizing the onions. Really, it's not a big deal to caramelize onions! Just cook them slowly and stir them occasionally and you will have gorgeous onions ready for the rest of your ingredients.
- As for the alcohol you add, be creative. I mention sherry in this recipe, you could add your favorite white wine or even Vermouth. You could skip it all together if you do not care for alcohol.
- If you are trying to add more vegan foods to your diet, you could sub the cheese for a vegan version (I have tried Daiyan cheeses and they would work great with this recipe), and sub the butter for olive oil (or use margarine). And what about the beef broth? No biggie to make it with vegetable broth. You would also have to sub the Worcestshire sauce for the vegan version.
How long does this soup stay fresh?
Keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and frozen for up to 3 months. You will have to make the baguettes with cheese fresh the day you defrost and reheat the soup.
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Vintage Savoring Recipes-This delicious French Onion Soup is from the SI archives, first published in 2015 and all part of a series called Vintage Savoring Recipes. I will be showing some TLC to some amazing recipes you may have missed on the blog. Most of these recipes will have fresh photos and fresher notes.
Updated from October 2015
French Onion Soup
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pounds yellow onions sliced 1/4-inch into half circles
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry sherry or your favorite white wine will work just fine!
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestshire sauce
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 tsp dry
- salt and freshly ground pepper according to your taste
- 1 small French baguette sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 8 ounces Gruyere cheese grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 3 cups)
- Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot on medium-low heat. Add onions and sprinkle the sugar over it. Stir occasionally and cook until tender and golden and begin to caramelize (takes about 20-25 minutes until golden).
- Sprinkle flour over onions, and stir to coat.
- Add sherry, stock, Worcestshire sauce, thyme, and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, lightly toast bread under a broiler; set aside. Ladle hot soup into six ovenproof bowls. Arrange the bowls on a baking pan.
- Place 1 or 2 slices of toasted bread over each bowl of soup.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup grated cheese over bread in each bowl, and place under the broiler until cheese is melted and crusty brown around the edges. Watch carefully that bread doesn't burn. Serve immediately.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
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