The Simple Classic French Onion Soup Recipe

by Vanya Sharma last updated -

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With the winter season setting in, we bring you the very special French onion soup recipe! This soup has been quite popular since the times of the Romans. However, the version of onion soup that we are talking about today dates back to 18th century Paris, France. The soup was introduced to the U.S. in around the late 19th century by Marie Julie Grandjean Moquin. It finally went through full-blown popularity in the 1960s in the United States due to the rising interest in French cuisine.

How to Make French Onion Soup?

Made with the perfectly caramelized onions, freshly sourced thyme sprigs or rosemary, and slightly sweet and salty Swiss cheese, French onion soup is then topped off with crusty baguette slices, finally making its tasteful way directly into your cozy December evenings.

A close up shot of a bowl of onion soup kept on the wooden table

Onion soup can be had for dinner or lunch alike. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

While popular as a starter, this soup can be eaten for lunch, dinner, or any other time you want, thanks to its easily available ingredients and simple way to make it. Let us take a look at the recipe below.

French Onion Soup

A winter evening starter served with croutons and cheese.
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Course: Starters
Cuisine: French
Appliance: Broiler
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Author: Vanya Sharma

Ingredients

  • 5 onions sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs fresh
  • 1/2 cup butter unsalted
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 cup red wine or half a bottle
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1 baguette sliced
  • 1/2 pound Gruyere cheese grated

Instructions

  • First, you take the butter and put it in a large pot over medium flame. Add the chopped onions in it and stir so that the onions are properly caramelized by butter. Once you have covered the onions in butter properly, add garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to the pot and let it all cook till the onions become translucent or slightly brownish. This would take you around 15 to 20 minutes. 
    Easy french onion soup ingredients on wood cutting board and wood background, French onion soup ingredients
  • Next, you add wine to your onions and bring it to a boil, after which put it on low flame till you see the wine evaporate and onions dry.
  • Now, carefully remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs from the pot and dust the onions with some flour. Make sure that it is on low flame so that the flour doesn't start to burn. You can also keep stirring the whole mix for the raw flour to cook well without getting burnt.
    French onion soup on the black background with its ingredients
  • Finally, add beef broth and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes. Season it with salt and pepper as per your taste.
  • All you need to do now is preheat the broiler when you're ready to eat it. Lay down the baguette slices on a baking sheet and cover them with the Gruyere cheese. Let it broil for 3 to 5 minutes until it turns bubbly and golden brown.
  • Your soup is all set to be eaten now - just serve it in bowls and top it off with several or as many pieces of Gruyere croutons as you want. Alternatively, you can also serve the French onion soup with 2 slices of bread layered with cheese, melted and toasted in an oven. So what are you waiting for? Go get started with this yummy goodness!
    A close up shot of onion soup in a ceramic pot placed on a wooden table

Notes

There are also many Americanised versions of this recipe which include the use of the oven to cook onions with varying ingredients, such as a combination of both beef broth and chicken broth in the soup. The recipe mentioned above is that of the classic French onion soup, but you can try your own combinations with different ingredients and cooking methods - and we would sure love to hear about them!

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About the Author

Vanya Sharma handles the medical expert collaboration for Organic Facts. She is also responsible for the website’s monthly newsletter and website content and contributes to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube regularly. A writer at heart, she joined the website while she was still pursuing her English Literature degree from IGNOU, Delhi, India. Vanya has completed the “Introduction to Food and Health” certificate program from Stanford University, US. She aims to bring unbiased and helpful information to all those seeking to make their health and lifestyle a priority.

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