Food Quiz

French Onion Soup A Great Classic Recipe


Two bowls of stew with meat in them.


French Onion Soup – a classic dish that’s easy to make and yummy to eat! Onions are the main event – cook them in butter and garlic ’til they’re caramelized.

To make it, you’ll need:

  • Onions
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaves
  • Thyme
  • Beef broth
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • White wine
  • Gruyere cheese
French Onion Soup A Classic Recipe


Here’s the rest of what you need to know to make this delicious soup: instructions and ingredients!

Yellow onions make the perfect base for French onion soup. Select firm, unblemished onions stored in a cool, dark place. Choose heavy onions for their size. Prep them by removing wilted layers, then cut off the root and stem end.

Slice in half lengthwise. Cut into thin half-moon slices crosswise. This technique helps bring out the natural sugars while sautéing.


Sauté onions in butter to start your soup. Butter is a French cooking fat that adds flavor, richness and brings out the sweetness. Amount of butter depends on preference.

  • More butter = creamier texture and stronger butter flavor.
  • Less butter = crisper texture but less sweetness.

Use unsalted butter for better control of seasoning.


Garlic, aka “Allium sativum“, is a must for French onion soup! It adds a warm, earthy flavor that enhances the sweetness from caramelized onions. Start by finely mincing 2-3 cloves and adding them to the onions as they cook for about 20 minutes.

Mix in a teaspoon of minced garlic and stir for 1 minute until fragrant. This stops the garlic from burning and adds a yummy layer of flavor. If desired, add one or two more cloves of minced garlic and stir until fully mixed. Lastly, season with salt according to taste. Bon Appétit!


Flour is a must for French Onion Soup. The usual recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Mix the flour with 1/4 cup of butter to form a paste. This paste is called a roux and is used to thicken the soup.

To make the roux, cook the flour and butter over low heat until golden brown. Stir constantly to get rid of any raw flour taste. If dairy free or vegan, use margarine or olive oil in place of butter for the roux.

Beef broth

Beef broth is key to classic French onion soup. To get the best taste and texture, make it yourself. Start with 3-4 pounds of boneless beef shin or cross-cut shank. Simmer it in 8-10 cups of cold water. Skim off any impurities that rise to the top. Once cooked, strain the broth and discard the meat.

If using store-bought product, dissolve bouillon cubes according to package instructions.

White wine

White wine is a must for a classic French onion soup. It adds flavour and richness and complexity. Dry, acidic wines with notes of fruit, oak or butter are best. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris are good choices. Steer clear of sweet wines as they’ll overpower the dish.

As a guide, use 1/2 cup of white wine per two people. For 8 servings, that’s 2 cups.

Salt and pepper

Salt and pepper are key for the soup’s flavor. Usually, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper is enough. However, it’s up to you to decide how much to add. Check if the beef broth has salt already. Too much pepper can make all other flavors disappear, so be careful.

Blend the seasoning with the other ingredients before starting to cook. Taste often as you cook.


French onion soup – a timeless dish! Preparing it is easy. Let’s make a yummy version for a cozy evening in. Key to success? Caramelizing the onions. Here are the steps:

  1. Caramelize the onions.
  2. Pour in the stock.
  3. Add other ingredients.
  4. Simmer and enjoy!

Slice the onions

Before making French Onion Soup, slice the onions. Use either a mandolin slicer or sharp knife. Juices from the onion adds sweetness to the soup.

Cut off and discard both ends of each onion. Lay the onion flat on one cut end facing away from you. Hold each side of the onion with two fingers while slicing. Make sure the slices are 5 millimetres (¼ inch) thick. Once the onions are evenly sliced, it’s time to caramelize them for the soup!

Heat the butter in a large pot

Start off by heating butter in a large pot over medium heat. Then, add onions and bay leaf. Mix. Cook until the onions become soft and golden, stirring every now and then. Approximately 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of sugar. This will bring out the sweetness of the onions. Cook for 25 more minutes until a deep golden brown color appears.

Add the onions and garlic and sauté

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add onions and garlic. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to low. Stir in sugar and salt. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Scrape any bits of onion that stick to the bottom of the pot back into the mixture as you stir. Onions should be soft and caramelized.

Enjoy your French onion soup!

Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir

Once the onions are nice and soft, sprinkle a tablespoon of flour over them. Use a wooden spoon to stir it together. Keep cooking the mixture on medium-low heat for an extra 3 minutes. The flour will help make the broth thicker. Then, raise the heat to medium. Cook it for 4 minutes more, stirring it a lot. It should start to brown.

Add the beef broth and white wine

Caramelize the onions. Add beef broth and white wine. Use beef or chicken stock – personal preference. A dry white wine with low acidity produces a richer flavor. Bring the mixture in pot to a simmer. Adjust heat so it doesn’t boil quickly. Boiling too quickly breaks down flavors and reduces volume.

Add garlic powder, thyme leaves, black pepper, and bay leaves. Simmer for thirty minutes until flavors blend. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve!

Simmer for 1 hour

Start by adding beef broth or stock to a big, heavy-bottomed pot. Boil it over high heat, then reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour. This will help the flavors of the herbs and spices infuse into the liquid.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the onion and dice the garlic. Put them in a saucepan with two tablespoons of butter on medium-high heat. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally.

When everything’s ready, take the pan off heat when the onion and garlic are golden. They should be nicely browned. It usually takes about 10 minutes. The onions will have released moisture, so reduce the liquid on medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Add red wine, sherry or white wine vinegar to infuse more flavor into the soup base. Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed (another 4-5 minutes).

After an hour of simmering with herbs, remove from heat. Stir in the buttery onion mixture and mix it all together. This will create one cohesive soup base color. Garnish with herbs if desired. Enjoy classic french onion soup!


French Onion Soup: a classic, enjoyed globally! Onions, beef stock, and herbs make it. To finish off, crispy crunchy toppings are great. Variety of toppings for texture and flavor – let us explore the best ones for French Onion Soup:


Croutons are a staple for French onion soup. Crispy cubes of bread add flavor and texture. Making your own croutons is simple:

  • Choose a rustic French or sourdough bread, Ciabatta, baguettes or Challah.
  • Cut the bread into cubes and spread on a baking sheet.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Add herbs or spices as desired.
  • Place in a 375 degree oven.
  • Bake until golden brown – 15 minutes or so.
  • Remove from oven, cool and enjoy!


Cheese is a yummy addition to French onion soup. Swiss, aged Gruyère, Emmentaler, Fontina, or Havarti are all great cheeses that melt nicely on top. Make sure to cover the entire soup with grated cheese. You can also layer slices of cheese between toast rounds for extra flavor and texture.

For maximum flavor, heat the soup for a few minutes until the cheese is bubbly before serving. For non-dairy or vegan options, try vegan cheese shreds or nutritional yeast flakes.

Fresh herbs

Herbs can give your French onion soup some extra flavor. Here are a few of the most common herbs: Parsley, with its mild, nutty taste. Thyme, with its fragrant, citrus tones. And Bay leaves, which have a stronger flavor. Plus, Chili flakes to give it some spice.

Chop up the parsley, use 1 tsp of fresh thyme, add two or three bay leaves and a pinch of chili flakes. Enjoy your flavorful soup!


French onion soup is a global favorite! Its broth is made from yummy caramelized onions and beef stock. Topped with melted cheese and toasted bread, it’s sure to tantalize tastebuds.

Let’s discover the best way to savor this scrumptious soup:

Ladle the soup into bowls

Ladle soup into individual shallow bowls. Give each bowl equal amounts of broth & onions. Put a toasted baguette slice on top of each bowl. Sprinkle with half a teaspoon of grated cheese. Grill or bake the bowls until the cheese has melted and become golden. Serve right away.

Add more toasted baguette slices if you like!

Top with croutons, cheese, and herbs

For the French onion soup, top with croutons, cheese, and herbs. Use Italian or French style bread for croutons. Cut thick slices and cube into small pieces, like the size of a dime. Toss with olive oil and salt before baking in the oven at a low heat until golden brown and crispy.

For a flavorful topping, add grated cheese to the hot broth before serving. Asiago or Parmesan are great choices. To give more flavor, sprinkle a pinch of fresh herbs like chives, thyme, or parsley over each bowl just before serving. This boosts the savory taste of the soup and adds texture and visual appeal. Enjoy!


French Onion Soup – the perfect way to finish off a meal. This recipe has been passed on through generations, with a few changes. Taste the combination of buttery onions, broth and sweet flavors. Top with melted cheese, croutons, and freshly-chopped parsley or chives. A glass of red wine is the perfect side-kick!

To really indulge, serve dinner rolls or French baguette slices on the side. Bon Appétit – Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What ingredients are needed to make French onion soup?

A: French onion soup requires onions, butter, flour, beef broth, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, sherry, salt, pepper, and French baguette slices.

Q: How long does French onion soup take to cook?

A: French onion soup takes about 30 minutes of active cooking time, plus about 1 hour of inactive time for the onions to caramelize.

Q: How do you serve French onion soup?

A: French onion soup is typically served in individual oven-safe crocks or ramekins topped with a slice of French baguette and melted cheese.

Ethan Walker
Ethan Walker

Hey there! I'm Ethan, an adventurous restaurant critic and culinary travel writer with a taste for global flavors. When not wine tasting or getting lost in historical fiction, I'm scouring the world for hidden gem eateries and authentic street food experiences. Join me on a thrilling journey to uncover culinary treasures!