French onion soup is the perfect soup for fall and winter. Caramelized onions, toasted bread and melted cheese is a tasty combination hard to resist! Plus, you only need simple pantry ingredients to make it.
Serving suggestions, possible substitutions, and a complete french onion soup recipe can be found in the text below.
How to make French onion soup
Start with sauteing sliced onions with some butter. This will take some time and occasional stirring is important to avoid burning them.
The more you cook the onions the better their flavor. To help the caramelization process, I add a little bit of sugar. In about 30-40 minutes, I pour wine in and let it cook until it is reduced to almost no liquid at all.
Then you can add stock and seasoning and finish the cooking.
French onion soup calories
A serving of this soup contains about 315 calories.
Please note that the calories as well as the nutritional information provided are calculated by a third party calculator and they can differ, depending on the ingredients used. For this reason, take the number as a guide only.
You can also serve garlic bread on the side (instead of toasted bread) if you like.
White or yellow onions are the best choice here!
Butter makes the soup creamier and richer, but you can use olive oil instead if you prefer.
Cheese for French onion soup – The classic recipe uses gruyere. I prefer cheddar or mozzarella, but you can use any kind you like (preferably something that you know melts well). Other great options are gouda or edam.
Beef broth can be substituted with chicken stock or vegetable stock (to make it vegetarian). Note that the taste of this soup will also change slightly depending on the kind of broth you use.
Bread – French baguette or any kind of a “long-stick” bread works well.
Tips for making French onion soup
- If you are like me and your eyes are super sensitive to onions, I suggest you buy special goggles. They do make cutting onions easier on you because let’s be honest here – it’s a lot of onions to cut!
- French onion soup is best served with cheesy toasted bread so don’t omit this delicious topping.
- This is one of the few soup recipes I have on the blog that take a bit longer to prepare but the final result is so worth it.
- You can ladle the soup into individual oven-proof dishes, top them with toasted baguette and cheese and finish off under the broiler. At this stage, you only need to melt the cheese and the best part is that all of it will end up either in your soup or on the toast.
If you prefer quick soup recipes, you might want to try some of these:
All of these soups are easy to prepare and ready in 35 minutes or less from start to finish!
French Onion Soup
- 5 large onions , see note 1
- 4 tablespoons butter , see note 2
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 cup white wine (250 milliliters)
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 4 cups beef stock / chicken stock (1 liter)
- 2 cups water (1/2 liter)
- 1.5 teaspoons salt , see note 3
- black pepper , to taste
- French baguette , sliced
- shredded cheese / sliced cheese, see note 4
- Peel and slice the onions. In a large pot (4-quart/4-liter), melt butter and add the onions in altogether with bay leaves. Saute for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in brown sugar and saute for a further 10 minutes or so. Stir from time to time.
- Pour in white wine and cook until it has completely evaporated. Then, add thyme, stock, water, salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil and cook for a further 5 minutes before turning off the heat.
- While waiting for the soup, slice the baguette and top it with cheese (either sliced or shredded). Place them onto a baking tray and broil for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has melted and bread is nicely toasted.
- Serve in bowls topped with toasted cheesy baguettes.
- You will need 2 pounds (900 grams) or 6-7 cups of sliced onions.
- Either salted or unsalted butter can be used. If you use salted butter, you will probably need to add slightly less salt at the end.
- If you use low sodium stock/broth, the soup will be quite bland. I recommend either adding more salt or omitting the water.
- Use any cheese you like – Gruyere if you want to go the traditional way or cheddar, mozzarella or anything that melts well.
- More tips, serving suggestions and FAQs can be found in the post above this recipe card.