French Onion Soup Recipe

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.

three clear glass soup bowls, tops of sou bowls with cheesy bread and onion soup, green napkin, spoons, thyme

For more soup recipes that will speak to your soul, try our Hamburger SoupHomemade Chicken Soup and Tortellini Soup with Italian sausage and spinach.

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

4 images in a collage with onions being made into soup

4 image collage showing baking sheet covered with foil and bowls with the stages of making french onion soup

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.

a pot of onion soup, bowls with cheesey toast on top, spoons, thyme leaves

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.

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French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is the ultimate comfort food, with caramelized onions in a flavorful beef broth, herbs and a cheesy crouton nestled on top
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, French
Servings 6 servings
Calories 574kcal

Ingredients
  

Soup

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds yellow onions, sliced about 4-6 medium
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts beef broth

Crouton topping

  • 1 baguette sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

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. 

Nutrition

Calories: 574kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 22gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 1567mgPotassium: 578mgFiber: 5gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 831IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 492mgIron: 2mg
Keyword french onion soup

Kristin Maxwell

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.

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