This French Onion Soup recipe has the flavors of that classic soup recipe we all know and love and it is easy enough to prepare in your kitchen at home. Caramelized onions in a reduction of white wine and sherry with herbs of thyme and bay leaves in a clear beef broth make this French Onion Soup delicious. The topping of French baguette bread wrapped in 3 cheeses then melted to a golden, crispy crust, make it ultra-satisfying.
French Onion Soup
Hi Everyone, I’m so excited to share this French Onion Soup recipe with you because I have adored, yes, absolutely adored French Onion Soup since I was a child. I would order this soup at every restaurant that my family would go to. I would compare the flavors and think about which one I liked best. I would pick off the crispy cheese around the ceramic bowl when the soup was finished.
To this day, when my family goes out to a restaurant and orders French Onion Soup, we all critique it and compare it against previous French onion soup experiences. How could a simple soup made out of onions – of all vegetables – taste so good and flavorful?
The answer is the combination of ingredients with simple techniques applied: The onions and garlic (my addition, I love garlic!) in unsalted butter with olive oil, the carmelization of the onions, and let those onions be Vidalia onions – if you can get them – the reduction of the dry white wine and sherry (alternately, you can add it in the bottom of the bowl before broiling), the addition of a excellent quality beef broth (I used organic but if you can get your hands on some homemade, go for it!), the simmering with thyme and bay leaves.
I suggest chilling the soup overnight as an option to let the soup flavors settle together, and using a combination of 2-3 cheeses with a crusty French baguette – all these things contribute to making an excellent French Onion Soup!
My husband, Eric, who does not normally eat any food with dairy (or at least it has to be lactose-free), wanted to try my soup, as he sipped the broth, he was like, “how did you make this?” “and then you did what?” He had me list all the ingredients and tell him all the steps. It’s hard to believe that you can get so much flavor from a soup of onions! It’s one of those soups you always order at restaurants but wish you could just have it at home where you are comfortable because it’s a true “comfort food.”
Now, the level of caramelization will determine the deepness of flavor in the broth. I prefer to have the onions golden to deep golden but someone else might prefer dark caramelized onions. I don’t like anything that tastes burnt, so that’s why I prefer not to go too dark with the onions. You just want to make sure that they are not too light either because we don’t want onion water! Just go with the flavor that you want, taste along the way and adjust seasonings and cook time, as need be.
Ingredients for French Onion Soup
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, regular
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups sliced onions, Vidalia variety is preferred or yellow onions
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc) *I know this seems like a lot of white wine and you can cut back on the amount of wine if you want but I find that it gives that nice distinct “tang” flavor that French onion soup is known for
- 6 cups beef broth, get the best quality you can find (I use organic), plus more if you want to adjust the flavor later
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 3 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or amount to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, amount to taste
- 1 French baguette bread, 8-10 1-inch slices
- 4-6 slices of provolone cheese
- 4-6 slices Swiss cheese
- 4-6 slices Muenster cheese
Kitchen Tools for French Onion Soup
- a large Dutch oven or soup pot
- measuring spoons and cups
- wet measure
- cutting board
- chef’s knife
- kitchen twine, for bundling the thyme and bay leaves
- Soup bowls, oven safe
Don’t you love these soup bowls? I picked this set up on Amazon specifically for this recipe, they are oven safe and great for soups and stews. I am just over the moon for them and can’t wait to use them for other recipes like chilies or even baked beans.
If you need a good homemade bread recipe that is similar to baguette bread, you can try my No-Knead Bread. It would work just great in this recipe.
For serving size, you can do 4 really full bowls or spread it out to 6 servings.
That cheese though, right? Ah, gets me every time! Nothing light a giant strand of stretchy cheese as you hover over your French Onion Soup!
If you want to change the type of cheese, you can also try using Parmesan cheese as well. Gruyère cheese is undoubtedly the most traditional French cheese to have on top of this soup but I have found that it can be harder to come by in some places in the United States. Ultimately, you just want a combination of a sharper, more aged cheese with a medium cheese variety to get a nice balance of flavor.
This is one of those recipes that has my heart and soul, it is that good; I know you will love this French Onion Soup recipe!
More comfort food recipes the whole family will love
- Salisbury Steaks
- Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Chicken Fried Steak
- Southwest Ground Beef Casserole