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French Onion Soup

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This traditional homemade French onion soup is cooked slowly and packed full of onion flavor. Topped with a lightly toasted baguette and a sprinkling of Gruyere cheese. This soup is perfect for a cold winter day or fall evening!

French Onion Soup in a small crock topped with cheesy toast.

Are you looking for the perfect winter cozy night soup recipe?

Look no further than this classic French onion soup.

This dish is a hearty classic soup that is packed full of yellow onions, deliciously beefy broth, white wine, a touch of thyme, and then topped with a lightly toasted baguette and Gruyere cheese.

It’s a classic dish that can be found at a lot of classic cafes and restaurants.

This soup always reminds me of my brother and I make it at least once a year.

Trust me, if you’re a fan of onions you’re going to love this French onion soup recipe!

Caramelized onions in a pot.

How do I make French onion soup?

Making French onion soup is easy but it does take some time!

The reason it takes time is that you want to let the onions saute until soft and caramelized and then you want to lightly simmer the soup so all the flavors have time to meld together.

Here is a basic list of ingredients:

  • Yellow onion – this is my personal favorite onion for this soup and cooks down into a sweet and delicious flavor.
  • White wine – dry and lightly flavored.
  • Beef stock – rich deep flavor. I really love using better than bouillon.
  • Fresh thyme – fresh is best but can be substituted with dry if needed.
  • Bay leaves – make sure there get taken out before serving!
  • Baguette – lightly toasted!
  • Shredded Gruyere cheese – a great French onion soup topper but you can also use Swiss cheese if needed.

The biggest tip to making French onion soup is to make sure you have patience pants on. That mean, no rushing the cooking of the onions!

Yes, this soup takes over 2 hours to make but it will be worth it – trust me!

For more detailed “this or that” or “how to” questions for this recipe makes sure to read the whole post as your question may have been asked and answered.

French Onion Soup in a soup bowl topped with a baguette and cheese.

What’s the best wine to use for onion soup?

This recipe calls for the use of a dry white wine but sometimes you will see French onion soup call for red wine. It’s truly up to the recipe developer and personal taste on which wine you like best.

I really love the lightness of the white wine for this soup and recommend an unoaked chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.

If you’re a fan of red wine (or maybe it’s the only wine you have on hand) I would reach for a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Malbec. Again, you’re looking for something dry and not too fruity.

If you use red wine for this recipe you will use the same amount of white wine and do not need to make any other adjustments to the recipe.

Can I use a different type of onion?

This recipe calls for the use of yellow onions which is my personal favorite onion for French onion soup.

Some folks like to use sweet onions (Vidalia is a popular sweet onion variety) but I personally feel that can result in a soup that is just a tad too sweet for my taste.

I typically shy away from using red onion in soup BUT it doesn’t mean that it can’t be used. I tend to like red onion in lightly cooked/grilled or raw preparations.

French Onion Soup served in small white soup bowls.

How do I store leftover French onion soup?

If you have any leftover soup you’ll want to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Store any leftover bread slices in a ziptop bag at room temperature.

After the soup has been warmed up I follow the same directions as the recipe card to broil the topping.

French Onion Soup garnished with fresh thyme.

Can I freeze this soup?

Yes! In fact, it freezes really well.

I like to freeze the soup without the bread or cheese topping as that does not really freeze and thaw correctly.

Add your cooled soup to a large freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Defrost overnight in your fridge, and reheat on the stove top.

For the cheese and bread topping do that fresh as the recipe card instructs.

French Onion Soup topped with cheese and bread.

Love this classic French onion soup recipe?

Why not try a few of my other delicious recipes?!

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

This traditional homemade French onion soup is cooked slowly and packed full of onion flavor. Topped with a lightly toasted baguette and a sprinkling of Gruyere cheese. This soup is perfect for a cold winter day or fall evening!


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 pounds yellow onions, halved lengthwise, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoons dry sherry
  • 6 slices of baguette, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese


  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot add 4 tablespoons of butter and set over medium-high heat.
  2. When the butter is melted add the sliced onions and garlic, and cook until the onions start to soften and pick up a tiny bit of color, about 15 minutes. Make sure your onions are not burning, if so turn down the heat slightly.
  3. Add the kosher salt, black pepper, and granulated sugar. Stir to combine.
  4. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown and caramelized, about 35-45 minutes. Again, reducing heat slightly if onions seem to be browning too quickly.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste.
  6. Add wine and raise heat to high.
  7. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add broth and herbs to pot with onions. Optional: tie the herbs into a bundle with kitchen twine so they are easy to remove.
  9. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until broth is thickened and flavorful, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
  11. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning if needed.
  12. Turn on your broiler or if you do not have a broiler set your oven to 450 degrees.
  13. Layout 6 oven-safe soup bowls or ramekins onto a rimmed baking sheet.
  14. Add 1/2 teaspoons sherry to the bottom of each bowl.
  15. Spoon soup into the bowls, top with baguette slice, and top each bowl with an equal amount of shredded cheese.
  16. Place your soup under the broiler or in the oven to help melt the cheese.
  17. Serve bubbling hot.


Recipe adapted from Epicurious

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 649Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 1426mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 5gSugar: 18gProtein: 25g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

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