French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup -- classic, simple, and so comforting | gimmesomeoven.com

Can you tell that I have been craving caramelized onions lately?

After posting tutorials this past week for how to make caramelized onions the traditional way (on the stovetop) and my still-can’t-believe-it-works “modern” way (in the slow cooker), I thought it was only appropriate that I pull up an old recipe from the archives for classic French onion soup.  Aka, the ultimate ode to caramelized onions.

I initially posted this recipe in my third month of blogging back in 2009, but French onion soup and I actually go way way back.  Like, back to my days in high school and college when a can of Campbell’s French onion soup was one of my favorite after-school snacks.  I didn’t know much about cooking, but I could whip up a batch of the canned stuff like a pro.  When I lived with an oven, I would pop a slice of sandwich bread on top with some shredded cheese and toast up a bowl to melty perfection.  And even when I lived in a dorm without ovens, I quickly figured out how to improvise with a hot piece of toast sprinkled with cheese that tasted about the same.  I loved French onion soup.

And of course, I still do.  But nowadays, my pantry is happily free from overly-processed cans of soup.  And I have learned how much more delicious this soup is when made from scratch with homemade caramelized onions.  And I tend to prefer to keep this soup a little lighter by using whole-grain baguettes or a few croutons for the topping, sprinkled with just a bit of cheese.  But a steaming hot bowl of this soup makes me as happy as it did when I was a 16-year-old, and I’m pretty positive I’ll still be making it when I’m 61.  So if you love it too, join me and let’s make a batch homemade.


French Onion Soup -- classic, simple, and so comforting | gimmesomeoven.com

To make this soup the classic way, it does require a bit of time babysitting your caramelized onions as they cook.  So pour an extra glass of some of that white wine that you’ll be cooking with, put on some music, and tap into your inner Julia Child for about an hour or some good French cooking ahead.

French Onion Soup -- classic, simple, and so comforting | gimmesomeoven.com

We begin by, of course, caramelizing those onions.  These guys are the rockstar of this soup, so take your time until the reach a deep golden brown color and are nice and caramelized.  Then add garlic, and flour to thicken.  Then deglaze the pan with white wine, being sure to use a wooden spoon to scrape up any of those browned bits that have accumulated on the bottom of the pan while you were cooking the onions.  They are full of fantastic flavor.

French Onion Soup -- classic, simple, and so comforting | gimmesomeoven.com

Add the rest of your stock and seasonings and let the soup simmer for awhile for those flavors to meld.

French Onion Soup -- classic, simple, and so comforting | gimmesomeoven.com

And then when you’re ready, ladle up that soup into some oven-proof bowls or crocks.  Top each with a slice of toasted baguette and some cheese, and pop them under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is perfectly bubbly.

French Onion Soup -- classic, simple, and so comforting | gimmesomeoven.com

 

And serve it up warm, so that you can get a bit of that ooey gooey melted cheese and toasted baguette with every delicious bite of onion soup.  Or if you need a shortcut and don’t have access to a broiler, you can always pop some croutons and cheese on top, and let the hot soup just melt the cheese.  (I often do this for leftovers.)  Or if you’re going the lighter route, you can always skip the bread and cheese all together and just enjoy the flavorful onion soup on its own.

However you make it, this soup is definite comfort food.  And on cold winter months like these, I’m convinced it is the most delicious way to warm up.  Hope you enjoy it!

French Onion Soup

This classic recipe for French Onion Soup is comforting

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced (approximately 5-6 large onions)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups of beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs of thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • a few generous pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • baguette
  • grated cheese (Gruyere, Asagio, Swiss, or Mozzarella)

Directions:

In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and saute until well browned and caramelized (but not burnt), about 30-40 minutes, stirring every few minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 1 minute.  Stir in the wine to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the stock, worcestershire sauce (optional), bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 10-15 minutes, partially-covered.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf and sprigs of thyme.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  While the soup is simmering, slice the baguette into 1-inch thick pieces and arrange them in single layer on baking sheet.  Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the bread is toasted and golden around the edges.  Remove and set aside.

Switch the oven to the broiler.  When ready to serve the soup, place your oven-safe bowls or crocks on a thick baking sheet.  Ladle the soup into each of them, then top with a baguette slice and your desired amount of cheese (I used about 1/4 cup shredded cheese for each).  Place on an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat and broil for 2-4 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Remove and serve immediately.

*If you do not have access to a broiler or would like to save time, I also love just topping this soup with croutons and shredded cheese.

(Recipe updated in January 2015.)

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

French Onion Soup -- classic, simple, and so comforting | gimmesomeoven.com

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Comments

  1. Mary — October 2, 2009 @ 4:31 am (#)

    my mom always says to use 1/2 swiss and 1/2 parmesan. The swiss melts better but the parmesan browns better. :)

  2. Linda — October 12, 2009 @ 12:22 am (#)

    I always toast my “croutons” (slices of french bread) in the oven broiler. I put some butter on them and sprinkle parmesan chees on. Brown on both sides, then add to the soup, put cheese over and brown again. So delicious.

  3. Terri — January 9, 2015 @ 4:54 pm (#)

    Ali,
    I tried the soup without the wine to start and OMG my picky eating pixies ages 7 & 10 loved it.  Even more my MIL who doesn’t like food that is not fast, as in onions are only supposed to be rings – really loved it.  I am going to switch out the chicken broth to beef and roast the onions with bacon.  No pix since the soup disappeared before I could get back with the camera!
    Thanks for an awesome recipe.
    T

  4. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — January 19, 2015 @ 6:33 am (#)

    I have actually never even had French Onion Soup!
    And, the worst food blogger award goes to me.  I totally need to try this, except using my broiler always sets the fire alarm off in my apartment complex.
    But, for this, my neighbours will understand ;) Pinned!

  5. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — January 19, 2015 @ 6:41 am (#)

    Your French onion looks perfect!! I adore this soup. Definitely need to try this recipe!

  6. Danielle {Styelleish } — January 19, 2015 @ 6:45 am (#)

    I’ve always been a French onion soup fan. I remember when I was about 13, going to a restaurant with some friends. Everyone ordered pizza and burgers, but I got the French onion soup. Everyone thought I was a freak, but I just enjoyed my soup :) 

  7. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables — January 19, 2015 @ 7:37 am (#)

    Any chance you know of a good substitute for beef broth? Do you think some sort of mushroom/veggie broth could possibly work? I’ve actually NEVER had french onion soup but I’ve always wanted to try it! Maybe I’ll give a veggie version an attempt soon :)

  8. Sarah | Broma Bakery — January 19, 2015 @ 8:03 am (#)

    You are officially the queen of french onion soup. Can I come over?

  9. Cookbook Queen — January 19, 2015 @ 8:29 am (#)

    This is my husband’s all time favorite but I’ve ever made it at home! This is happening, ASAP :)

  10. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — January 19, 2015 @ 8:46 am (#)

    I sooo love French Onion Soup! This looks so cheesy and delicious!

  11. Peter — January 19, 2015 @ 9:07 am (#)

    Do you think you could make this using onions you had caramelized in the slow cooker? How do you think the taste/texture would differ?

  12. Jenna @ just j.faye — January 19, 2015 @ 10:50 am (#)

    I have never craved french onion soup more than I am craving it at this very moment. It looks incredible and oh so satisfying!

  13. Melissa @ Bits of Umami — January 19, 2015 @ 12:28 pm (#)

    I love french onion soup ahhh. You make it look so simple! Love this. Can’t wait to try this :)

  14. Angie — January 19, 2015 @ 1:25 pm (#)

    We just love french onion soup, I will have to try your variation sounds fantastic!  Yes I can tell your craving onions lately!  :)  

  15. Becca — January 19, 2015 @ 3:57 pm (#)

    I have recently been placed on a Gluten Free diet and am curious if the soup would turn out as well using Gluten Free flour. Have you ever tried it Ali? If not, I will follow up with pictures via Instagram within a week or two and let you know if it worked!

  16. Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — January 19, 2015 @ 6:26 pm (#)

    I can still remember the first time I had french onion soup — life changing. I don’t think I ever knew that soup could taste so darn delicious — and cheesy. Looks awesome! 

  17. Heather — January 20, 2015 @ 8:30 am (#)

    In the words of Rachael Ray – YUMMO! Could you possibly use red wine in this recipe? Or is it better to use white? I just wondered if the red would give it a different flavor or deepness.  I guess I’ll have to try it to find out! Love the: recipe, pictures, and you!

  18. Amanda — January 20, 2015 @ 8:59 am (#)

    Oh my word! This soup looks amazing!!!

  19. Trang's corner — January 20, 2015 @ 10:31 am (#)

    I’m so excited to try this recipe. So delicious!  So inspirational!

    http://www.trangscorner.com

  20. Jessica | Saucy Pear — January 20, 2015 @ 2:24 pm (#)

    I haven’t made French Onion Soup in eons and have now, thanks to this deliciousness, decided this needs to be remedied pronto. I’d like to go on the record, though, as a strong supporter of using the baguette and cheese… we all know that’s why we love French onion soup anyhow ;)

  21. Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats — January 20, 2015 @ 2:35 pm (#)

    Swooning over this! French Onion soup is seriously hands down my favorite soup on this earth! LOVE! Could eat it every day, well maybe not every day, but gosh darn close! Can’t wait to try your version girl! This pics are beautiful, but would I expect anything less? Nope!

  22. shannon — January 23, 2015 @ 11:36 am (#)

    Love french onion soup! Never made it at home. I did want to say and I’m not being mean. It isn’t vegetarian if your using beef stock. If you use vegetable broth it stays vegetarian.

  23. Jessica Ford — January 23, 2015 @ 7:26 pm (#)

    I made this soup last night and it was amazing!  I had never made it before.  I didn’t realize how easy it would be.  Can’t wait to make it again, soon!  Thanks, Ali, for a great recipe!  

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