Take the feeling of a hug and put it in the form of a cozy meal and you’ve got French Onion Soup. The semi sweet onions paired with savory cheese and crunchy bread is perfect for cool evenings in with family and friends.
The Best French Onion Soup Recipe
After our first bite of this soup, we realized that it had been far too long since making this classic recipe. Because what’s not to love when you combine savory and sweet plus melty cheese and crunchy bread?! Get a glass of wine, turn up the music, and set aside some quality time in the kitchen to prepare one of our favorite soups of the season.
What You Will Need
- butter & olive oil – Helps to caramelize the onions to perfection.
- shallot – A mild and sweet onion flavor to enhance the onion flavor throughout.
- vidalia onions – These are the best onions for this recipe as they have a higher sugar content than other onions, giving this soup a subtle sweet flavor.
- sugar – To help bring out the sweetness in the onions.
- garlic – Sharp pepper notes help balance the sweetness.
- dry white wine – Used to degalze the pan during the caramelization process.
- flour – Helps to thicken the soup.
- beef broth – A strong and savory broth to help balance out the sweeter flavors.
- Better than Bouillon Beef Concentrate – Gives your soup a richer depth of flavor.
- worcestershire sauce & soy sauce – Both bring a unique umami flavor to add depth.
- balsamic vinegar – An ingredient with savory, sweet, and fruity notes.
- lemon zest – Just a bit to brighten everything up.
- kosher salt & ground black pepper – Cooking classics that you can’t go without.
- baguette – Just a few slices to help you soak up every last bite of soup and melty cheese.
- gruyere cheese – A rich and nutty cheese that melts to perfection over the top of this sweet and savory soup.
- parmesan cheese – Because you can never have enough cheese.
- herb bundle – We used fresh thyme sprigs, rosemary and sage tied together.
- For Serving: Fresh chopped parsley + fresh cracked black pepper.
How To Make French Onion Soup
Start by adding the butter and olive oil to a large Dutch Oven or large pot that’s been preheated to medium-high heat. Swirl the ingredients around a bit so that they coat the pan.
Next, add your shallots and onions and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until they’ve softened. Then increase the heat to medium-high and add some more butter and oil if the pan seems dry. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon to ensure the onions get cooked evenly.
Use a mandoline slicer to get consistently thin cuts of onion and shallot. Just be careful! Those slicers can be lethal for fingertips. We use protective gloves just to be safe.
Cook your onions for another 30-45 minutes while moving them around the pot fairly often to ensure that they all get evenly cooked. This process may feel like it takes a long time, but trust us when we say that it’s worth it! Perfectly cooked onions make this recipe top notch. Note that as the onions cook down, they will decrease in size substantially. This is okay! The soup will get thickened up later in the cooking process.
Now add the sugar and stir to really amp up the caramelization process. The onions should be a deep golden brown at this point. Again, it’ll look like there’s not a lot in the pan, but fear not! Once we add in the rest of the ingredients, your soup will bulk up.
Deglaze the pan by adding white wine and scraping any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. The onions should be brown in color and jammy in consistency. Add the garlic and stir it around the pan followed by the flour.
Now slowly add in the broth, about a quarter cup at a time, stirring constantly. Then add the beef broth concentration, worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, soy sauce, pepper, pinch of salt and herb bundle. Cover the pot and let your soup simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450°F. Then evenly slice the baguette and place the bread slices in a single layer on a sheet pan. Brush them with oil so that they get nice and golden brown while in the oven. Place the sheet in the middle rack for about 5 minutes, but keep your eye on them. They’ll burn easily.
It’s nearly time to chow down, folks! Ladle your soup into four small bowls or two big bowls and place two baguette slices on the top of the soup. Cover them with gruyere and parmesan cheese and place them under the broiler until the cheese is melty and bubbly.
Drop the top oven rack so that it’s not directly under the broiler. This helps to keep your cheese from going from melty to crispy.
Remove the bowls from the oven and let them cool slightly before garnishing with fresh parsley and serving.
What To Serve With French Onion Soup
Between the warming broth, hearty cheese, and crunchy bread, this really does make the perfect lunch or dinner. But if you’re going all in, serve a smaller portion along side our classic French Dip sandwich, an easy steak salad, or caesar salad.
As for what type of bowl to serve french onion soup in, any oven safe bowl will work, but if you’re going the classic route, this soup is typically served in a Lion’s Head bowl, a traditional french piece of dinnerware.
- Onions – Cut these carefully, my friends! We like using a mandoline slicer while wearing protective gloves.
- White Wine – A dry cooking wine like chardonnay will work great.
- Storage – Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days in the fridge. Just keep the bread separate as it will quick get soggy if stored with the soup.
- Gluten-Free: Use 1-to-1 gluten-free flour and a gluten free baguette to make this recipe gluten-free.
- Dairy-Free: Swap out the cheeses and butter for dairy free options.
Made this classic french onion soup recipe and loved it?! We would love it if you would take a minute and leave a star rating and review – it is also helpful if you made any substitutions or changes to the recipe to share that as well. THANK YOU!
French Onion Soup Recipe – the BEST homemade french onion soup recipe that is so flavorful and simple to make! Perfect for cold weather!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 5 large vidalia onions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (sub coconut sugar)
- 3 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (sub 1-to-1 gluten-free flour)
- 6–7 cups beef broth
- 2 teaspoons Better than Bouillon Beef Concentrate
- 1 teaspoon worsteshire
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce (sub Tamari for gluten-free)
- pinch of kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- herb bundle (fresh thyme, rosemary and sage sprigs tied together)
- 6 slices baguette
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups gruyere cheese, shredded
- 2–3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- for serving: fresh chopped parsley + fresh cracked black pepper
- Cook Onions: Bring a large Dutch Oven to medium-high heat. Add butter and olive oil to the pan. Let butter melt; swirl to coat the pan. Add shallot and onions. Cook on medium heat until softened, about 15 minutes. Increase to medium-high and add additional butter or olive oil, if needed (if pan seems dry). Cook another 30 minutes until caramelized, moving around fairly constantly. Add sugar and stir to combine to really get some extra caramelization.
- Deglaze Pan: Deglaze pan by adding wine and scraping up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. The onions should resemble almost a jam-like texture at this point. Add garlic and stir to combine.
- Finish Soup: Add flour and stir to combine. Slowly add broth, approx. 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Add Beef Broth Concentrate, worsteshire, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, soy sauce, pepper, pinch of salt and herb bundle. Cover and let simmer 20-30 minutes.
- Baguettes: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place sliced baguettes on baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Place in oven, middle rack, until browned, approx. 5 minutes (watch closely).
- Taste + Adjust: Taste soup and add additional salt, as desired.
- Broil: Ladle soup into 4 small bowls or 2 big bowls. Place 2 baguettes on top. Cover with gruyere and parmesan cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese melted and bubbly (watch closely and I would recommend dropping the top rack so it isn’t directly under the broiler).
- Serve: Remove and let cool slightly before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
- Onions: I would recommend you (carefully) use a mandolin to help thinly slice the onions and shallot.
- White Wine: use a dry white wine such as a chardonnay.
- Storage: store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I would recommend making the baguettes as-needed – don’t store the baguettes on top of the soup as they will get soggy.
- Gluten-Free: use 1-to-1 gluten-free flour and a gluten-free baguette to make this recipe gluten-free.
- Dairy-Free: feel free to swap out the butter for vegan butter and choose a dairy-free alternative to the Gruyere and parmesan cheese.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 774
- Sugar: 12 g
- Sodium: 1921.5 mg
- Fat: 46.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 53.2 g
- Protein: 33.1 g
- Cholesterol: 89.7 mg
Keywords: french onion soup, french onion soup recipe