The BEST French Onion Soup Recipe (Steps + Video) | How To Cook.Recipes (2024)

One of the soups that brings me the most comfort when the weather is cold is classic French onion soup. It’s a favorite in this house too, despite the onions which are normally a turnoff for the kids. Tender in the soup, the hunks of baguette soaking underneath the layer of melted cheese are just too irresistible to anyone. It’s a soup I’ll make any day of the week yet is perfectly fit for company too!

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Best French Onion Soup Recipe

If you long for French onion soup but don’t want to go out to eat, you’ve got to make this recipe. With authentic flavors and fresh ingredients, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make it sooner. Say goodbye to the canned variety and see how easy it is to make yourself!

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Homemade French Onion Soup Ingredients

  • Onions – the star of the soup. Use whatever you have though yellow onions are the traditional ones to use for this soup
  • Beef stock – this helps form the base (can be replaced with veggie stock for a vegetarian version)
  • Butter – so you can caramelize the onions
  • Flour – this thickens up your soup (you can swap in gluten-free flour too!)
  • Dry white wine – you need this to deglaze the pan and add that signature flavor
  • Seasonings – it takes a little Worcestershire sauce, fresh thyme, garlic, and bay leaves to give French onion soup that wonderful taste
  • Toasted French bread – you’ll add this to the top just before the cheese
  • Swiss cheese – The pièce de resistance that completes your bowl of French onion soup

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One day I’m gonna make the onions cry.

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Easy French Onion Soup Recipe

Traditional French onion soup is so easy to make. It only tastes complex, as it should. A quick French onion soup recipe should take only about 10 minutes of prepping and the rest of the time, your soup is simmering to perfection. At the end you’ll do some toasting and broiling but it comes together so easily you’ll be a master in no time!

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How do you Make French Onion Soup from Scratch

Simply caramelize the onions in butter, add garlic and flour, deglaze the pan with white wine, add the stock and the other seasonings and simmer it up. Once it’s ready, toast slices of the French bread and place on top of each bowl of soup. Put the cheese on top and broil it just for a few minutes to get that signature bubbling going on.

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Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect French Onion Soup Every Time

  • Don’t skimp – Add more wine while deglazing if you can’t get up all the brown bits. It won’t ruin your soup.
  • Gluten Free and Vegetarian options – You can easily customize this recipe for vegetarians or those with gluten sensitivities by swapping the stock for veggie and the flour for gluten-free, respectively. Gluten-free bread can also be used!
  • Cheese options – While Gruyere cheese is the traditional cheese to use, this recipe uses Swiss which is easier to find (and probably in your fridge!). You can also use gouda, mozzarella, or even provolone!
  • No bread? Use croutons!
  • Get the perfect top – Use your broiler to melt the sprinkling of cheese to make the perfect topping to your soup.

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How to Cook French Onion Soup

Once you deglaze the pan after caramelizing the onions, it’s all about adding the stock and the seasonings to simmer up the broth. When it’s simmered enough, you’ll toast the bread slices, top the soup, and then broil (don’t bake) the cheese on top to finish it off.

How can I add flavor to French onion soup?

Don’t just use beef stock when making French onion soup. The secret to achieving a restaurant-quality flavor is to deglaze with white wine. Adding Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves will also contribute to the rich flavor.

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What onions are best for French onion soup?

You can use any kind of onions in a classic French onion soup recipe, though the best are the yellow onions sliced thinly. This is the traditional way to make french onion soup.

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How do I thicken French onion soup?

Flour is used to thicken traditional French onion soup right after you caramelize the onions. You can use gluten-free flour in this step as well.

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How do you keep cheese from sinking in French onion soup?

Add some cheese to the soup itself before adding the baguette slice. Once the baguette slice is in place, add more cheese and try to keep it on top of the baguette to avoid sinking.

What cheese can replace Gruyere in French onion soup?

This recipe uses Swiss instead of Gruyere. They’re very similar and it’s much easier to find. For French onion soup cheese, you can use Swiss, Gruyere, mozzarella, provolone, or even gouda.

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Is there a difference between onion soup and French onion soup?

Onion soup usually requires a combination of a variety of onions. French onion soup is traditionally made with yellow onions. Also, French onion soup is always made with beef stock while onion soup uses any type of stock or broth.

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What to Serve with French Onion Soup

A nice panini would be a great match with a simple French onion soup. Fresh green salads with vinaigrette dressing, baked salmon, steak, or even a pasta dish will all be wonderful options to go with this delicious soup.

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How to Store French Onion Soup

I like making a big batch of French onion soup to enjoy later on. It’s even easier to get on the table when it’s already ready. You will need to let it cool completely and then store just the soup itself in airtight containers.

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How long does French Onion Soup Last?

In your fridge, French onion soup is good for 3 days. If there’s no way you can possibly eat it all by then, turn to your freezer!

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Can You Freeze French Onion Soup?

You bet you can freeze it! Choose airtight containers or freezer bags and put the cooled soup in there. It will be good for up to 3 months. Make sure you portion it out so it’s easier to use when you’re ready for it.

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How to Reheat French Onion Soup?

When you have it in the freezer, take it out and let it defrost in your fridge overnight. Then you can warm it on the stovetop until it’s nice and hot.

Watch How To Make French Onion Soup (Video)

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The BEST French Onion Soup Recipe

5 from 3 votes

Prep Time 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time 55 minutes minutes

Total Time 1 hour hour 5 minutes minutes

Servings 6 servings

Calories 459

This is the BEST French Onion Soup recipe I've been perfecting for my family. It has the rich flavor of caramelized onions along with beef stock and of course topped with fresh baguette and Swiss cheese. Perfect to warm you up on a cold day!


  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 lbs yellow onions (thinly chopped)
  • 8 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups swiss cheese (grated)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 French bread or baguette loaf


  • In a large stockpot or soup pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat.

  • Once the butter is melted, add the onions and cover with lid for 20 minutes or until they are fully caramelized. Add in the garlic and stir, then the flour. Use the white wine to deglaze the pan then add the stock, Worcestershire, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme. Stir to combine. Allow the soup to reach a boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes on medium-low heat.

  • Stir in 1/4 cup of grated Swiss cheese and a 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper while the soup continues to simmer. While the soup simmers, slice the baguette into 1-2 inch pieces and toast until golden brown around the edges.

  • Once the soup has finished, ladle soup into oven-safe bowls on a baking sheet. Top the bowls with a baguette slice and a generous amount of shredded Swiss cheese about 1/2 cup. Broil for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with fresh thyme and serve soup immediately.

Calories: 459kcal

Course: Soup

Cuisine: French


Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 1383mg | Potassium: 986mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 448IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 544mg | Iron: 3mg

More french onion soup recipes:

The BEST French Onion Soup Recipe (Steps + Video) | How To Cook.Recipes (2024)


How do you deepen the flavor of French onion soup? ›

A few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf elevate the soup even more, but I take it a step further, adding a splash of fish sauce for complexity and depth—don't worry, it won't taste fishy—and a hit of cider vinegar to balance some of that oniony sweetness.

What is the difference in onion soup and French onion soup? ›

What is the Difference Between Onion Soup and French Onion Soup? French onion soup is always made with beef stock. Other onion soups can be made with chicken, vegetable, or beef stock. Additionally, French onion soup typically contains wine or sherry, which isn't typical or necessary in other onion soups.

How to make fresh onion soup? ›

  1. HEAT margarine in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. ADD onions and SAUTÉ until caramelized (light golden brown).
  3. STIR in broth and pepper. Bring to a BOIL and SIMMER for 10 minutes.
  4. SERVE and TOP with cheese.

How can I thicken my French onion soup? ›

The easiest way to thicken your French onion soup is with flour. You can also use cornstarch if you don't have any flour. Remember to never add the flour or cornstarch directly to the soup – otherwise you run the risk of it clumping.

What spices add depth to soup? ›

Herbs and sources add flavor, aroma, and intensity to the soup broth. You can pick fresh or dried herbs like basil for tomato-based soups or fresh parsley for clear broths. You may also add more spices like turmeric, ground ginger, ground paprika, or nutmeg for a touch of spice and color to your soup broth.

How do you make soup taste richer? ›

"If your broth is lacking in savory richness, try adding roasted onion, tomato paste, mushrooms, seaweed, soy sauce, or miso. These ingredients add umami flavor and depth to broth," she says. The choice of ingredient depends on the recipe, though.

What is a fun fact about French onion soup? ›

The classic French onion soup gets its name from its country of origin: France. After making its debut in the 18th century, it has become a national treasure. During ancient times (and still today), onions were cheap and easy to grow, and hence, readily available.

Does it matter how you cut onions for French onion soup? ›

For French onion soup, it is best to slice the onions into thin, even slices. This will allow them to cook evenly and caramelize properly. You can achieve this by cutting the onion in half, placing the flat side down, and slicing it widthwise into thin slices.

What broth is French onion soup made of? ›

This soup traditionally is made with beef stock, though sometimes a good beef stock can be hard to come by and expensive to make. If you use boxed stock, taste it first! If you don't like the taste, don't use it. (If you cook a lot of beef or beef roasts, save the scraps and freeze them to make a stock with later.)

Why do you put baking soda in French onion soup? ›

The caramelized onions for this soup cook more quickly due to a pinch of baking soda but still have that deep, slow-cooked flavor. Topping the soup with hot, cheesy toasts prepared while the soup simmers, eliminates the need to bake the soup in specialty French onion soup bowls.

What makes homemade soup taste better? ›

Use aromatic vegetables, like carrots, celery and onions. Adding some egg noodles or pasta can make the soup more thicker and turn it into a complete meal as well. Add some fresh herbs of your choice to add another layer of flavour to your dish.

How long is homemade French onion soup good for? ›

Your soup will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. If you haven't finished it by then, I'd suggest freezing the remainder in either airtight containers for individual servings, or in good heavy-duty freezer bags. Don't forget the label! You'll never remember what is in there otherwise.

Why do you add flour to French onion soup? ›

Onion soup, at its very essence, is nothing more than onions and water boiled together. Period, done, finished, everything added from that point on is pure opinion. Caramelizing the onions brings out sugars, and makes a more luxurious silky and sweet soup, adding flour gently thickens and provides body.

What goes good with French onion soup? ›

French Onion Soup Serving Suggestions

Pair it with a simple salad, like my Caesar Salad or Pear Salad, and any protein you like! It would also be excellent with pasta. Try serving it with one of these recipes: Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe.

Should French onion soup be sweet? ›

Onions are very sweet, especially when they're cooked down, and that is the main purpose of onion soup. The sweetness can be balanced by adding some dry wine or vinegar. Taste as you go and don't overdo it. A little salt will balance it too, but don't forget that the grated cheese you will top it with is salty.

How do you doctor up canned French onion soup? ›

Infusing the soup with a richer taste is as easy as quickly sauteing crushed garlic before pouring the soup in. Some soft, buttery garlic sauteed in earthy olive oil is the perfect addition to enrich canned French onion soup.

How do you get the depth of Flavour in vegetable soup? ›

A squeeze of citrus, a dollop of yogurt or a drizzle of cream, a dusting of cheese or a good chile powder, a sprinkling of some herbs or croutons — all can take a perfectly fine soup into the realm of the delectable. Even a spiral of good olive oil to finish and some coarse sea salt can do wonders.

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