French Onion Soup with a cheesy crouton nestled on top is the ultimate comfort food! Sweet onions are caramelized then simmered in a rich, beefy broth with garlic and herbs, to create this classic soup recipe that everyone loves.
There is nothing better than a hearty bowl of soup on a chilly day. It warms you up from the inside out and just makes you feel good. My French Onion Soup recipe is a classic that feels a little fancy while also a little rustic.
This is one of my favorite things to order in restaurants, but since we’ve been eating more at home or doing take out, it was time to start making it for myself. This is a super simple recipe that takes time, but very little effort.
How to Make French Onion Soup
Looking at that beautiful bowl of earthy broth with it’s bubbly cheesy topping, you’d think it would be a complicated, but it’s really an easy recipe!
Onions. Choose a sweeter onion like Walla Walla or Vidalias if they’re available. Cut the onion in half, then into ¼ inch thick slices. Melt butter and olive oil in a large soup pot and toss in the onions.
Caramelize. Let the onions cook down slowly and over a medium to low heat. If they start to scorch a little, turn down the heat immediately or move the entire pot off of the burner. You want the sweet caramel flavor, not burnt pieces.
Simmer. First add flour to the onions and cook for several minutes. Then pour in beef broth and add the herbs and garlic. Bring the soup to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for half an hour.
Broil. Ladle French Onion Soup into ramekins or oven safe bowls and top with a slice of french baguette and some gruyere cheese. Broil just until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Best Onions for French Onion Soup
The best onions to use in soup are white or yellow onions, and the sweeter the better. Try Walla Walla of Vidalia varieties.
Time is your friend. Don’t try to rush the onions cooking time or they will burn and that ruins the flavors.
Recipe Tips and Notes
If you don’t have oven safe bowls, you can use regular soup bowls and toast the bread and cheese separately on a baking sheet. I’ve included instruction in the printable recipe card below.
Gruyere is my cheese of choice for the sharp flavor and meltability. Swiss cheese or Mozzarella are suitable substitutions.
This recipe makes roughly 4-6 servings. It really depends on your appetite and whether you are serving this as a main course or as an appetizer.
More Soup Recipes to Love
I listed a few of our favorites at the top of this post, but there is always room for more soup! Be sure to add these to your recipe box or Pinterest board to make this fall and winter.
Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-heat. Melt butter and olive oil, then add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, dried thyme, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir frequently while onions cook down; about 20-30 minutes. If they begin to brown, turn down the heat or remove the pot from the heat for a minute. *Note - onions can take as long as 45 minutes to become soft and golden brown.
Stir in flour, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5-7 minutes.
Pour in beef broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
Preheat broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Ladle soup into oven safe bowl or ramekins, top with 1-2 baguette slices and 1-2 heaping tablespoons of Gruyere.
Broil for several minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden. Garnish with sprigs of thyme or fresh minced parsley if desired.
If you don’t have oven safe bowls for broiling: Place the baguette slices (1-2 per person) on a lined baking sheet. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese on each slice and broil for several minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden. Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese toast. Garnish with parsley or thyme if desired.
White or yellow onions are best, and the sweeter the better. Try Walla Walla of Vidalia varieties. Time is your friend. Don't try to rush the onions cooking time or they will burn and that ruins the flavors. Keep in mind that 20-30 minutes is a general time and it could take as long as 40-45 minutes.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.