French Onion Soup is made the classic way with a delicious caramelized onion soup topped with a toasted baguette and gooey melted Gruyere cheese. This soup is a restaurant favorite!
It is soup weather in The Stay At Home Chef house right now. November and December can be deceptively warm, and then January hits and we remember what winters in the midwest really look like. We are chilled to the bone, and crave soup for months on end until spring finally arrives. Not only is French onion soup delightfully warm in this cold weather, it is so savory and hearty with a toasted baguette and our favorite gruyere cheese on top! You are not going to want to miss this one!
French onion soup is a meal that transcends class and socioeconomic status. In 18th century France, basic onion soup was especially prevalent in poor communities, where onions were cheap and in abundance. Restaurants dressed up that basic onion soup by adding cheese and then placing the bowls under the broiler, broadening its appeal to the well off communities in Paris and creating the classic French Onion Soup we know today. It eventually made its way to New York and became wildly popular in the 1960s along with all French Cuisine.
What bread is best for French Onion Soup?
We think that a good quality French baguette just can’t be beat in this recipe. However, any artisan bread should work, and we’ve even seen croutons used! The higher the quality of your bread or croutons, the better this will taste.
Dry Sherry: Optional
The use of dry sherry is completely optional in this recipe. You can substitute with white wine if you simply don’t have access to sherry. You can also omit the alcohol entirely.
What kind of bowls can I use for individual servings?
A broiler-safe and deep bowl is the name of the game with French Onion Soup. If you’ve never used your soup bowls under the broiler and they don’t say oven/broiler safe, you will want to find something else to use. We’re a big fan of the traditional soup crocks or large ramekins.
If you do not have oven-safe bowls, you can simply put your cheeses onto your toasted French bread slices and melt under the broiler to make little cheesy toasts. When your soup is ready to serve, ladle soup into regular soup bowls and top with your cheesy toasts.
You can prepare your soup earlier in the day or the night before and refrigerate. When you are getting ready to serve, reheat it on the stovetop and then proceed with toasting your bread and adding the cheese and broiling.
Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.
Classic French Onion Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 medium yellow onions sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 8 cups beef broth
- 1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt , or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper , or to taste
- 8 slices french bread baguette
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 slices gruyere or provolone cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add in onions and saute until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook onions until caramelized and golden, about 15 to 25 minutes, stirring every 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add in butter and garlic. Let cook until butter melts and garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Pour in beef broth and sherry (if using). Season with thyme, salt, and black pepper. Add more seasoning to taste. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, brush each slice of baguette with olive oil on both sides. Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven underneath the broil setting until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and toast the other sides.
- Place 4 oven-safe bowls onto a baking sheet. Ladle soup into bowls. Place two slices of toasted baguette on each one. Top with a slice of grueyere cheese and finish with 1/2 tablespoon of parmesan cheese on each bowl.
- Slide baking sheet carefully into the oven underneath the broil setting until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Watch closely as broil times may vary. Serve immediately.