French Onion Soup

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My favorite homemade French onion soup recipe that’s easy to make and full of the richest caramelized onion flavors.

French Onion Soup Recipe

Who’s ready for a cozy bowl of homemade French onion soup? ♡

We actually just arrived home late last night from spending a week in Provence with our parents.  And amidst the most delicious week of meals together around the table in our little cottage — with fresh croissants and baguettes picked up from the local bakery, farmers market wild mushrooms and artichokes the size of your head, approximately one million French cheeses, herby olives, fresh raspberry tart, plus the loveliest crisp local rosés — I also channeled my inner Julia Child and simmered up a batch of my favorite French onion soup for dinner one evening.  And it was delightful.

I actually first shared this recipe here during my very first year of blogging — now ten years ago! — and have made it countless times since.  And it’s always, always a winner.  Nowadays, I tend to make it vegetarian (using veggie broth instead of traditional beef broth) so that both my husband and I can enjoy it.  And after living in Barcelona for a few years, we’ve also come to love the Spanish twist on this recipe as well, which includes cracking an egg into each soup bowl and then broiling it (with or without cheesy toast) until the egg is perfectly poached on top of the soup.

However its made, French onion soup is a classic and will forever remain one of my all-time favorite comfort foods.  So if you’re looking for a well-tested recipe to add to your repertoire, I can vouch that this one’s a keeper!

Easy French Onion Soup Recipe | 1-Minute Video

French Onion Soup Ingredients:

The good news is that classic French onion soup only requires a few simple ingredients.  You will need:

  • Onions: You can use white, yellow or red onions for French onion soup.  But to make it the classic way, you will need 5-6 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • Butter: The tastiest (French) way to caramelize those onions.  Although feel free to use vegan butter (or just olive oil) if you are avoiding dairy.
  • Flour: To help thicken the soup.  I typically use all-purpose, but you’re welcome to use a gluten-free flour blend.  Or just omit the flour if you don’t mind having a thinner soup broth.
  • White wine: To help deglaze the pan.  If the onions start to burn a bit on the bottom of the pan while they are caramelizing, feel free to add in an extra few splashes of wine along the way to help lift up those browned bits.
  • Beef stock: The classic base for French onion soup, although we often sub in veggie stock in our house to make this soup vegetarian.
  • Worcestershire, garlic, bay leaf, fresh thyme, salt and pepper: For seasoning.  Feel free to tinker around with the amounts of each.  And if you don’t have fresh thyme on hand, you’re welcome to sub in dried thyme (or some herbs de Provence).
  • Bread and cheese: For the cheesy toasts on top.  Feel free to use whatever kind of bread (I recommend a crusty baguette) and shredded or sliced cheese (Gruyere, Asagio, Swiss, Gouda, Mozzarella, etc) that you prefer.

Full ingredients/instructions listed in the recipe below.

How To Make French Onion Soup with Caramelized Onions

How To Caramelize Onions:

The first step to making traditional French onion soup is to transform that big pile of raw onions into the decadent, sweet, and irresistibly caramelized onions that will form the rich base of this recipe.  Caramelization is actually a really simple process, but it does take some time.  So turn some music on, maybe pour yourself an extra glass of that white wine we will be using, and get ready to spend some quality time by the stove as we work some onion magic.

To make the caramelized onions, simply melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Add your onions, and toss so that they are coated in the butter.  Let them cook for about 5 minutes, until they start to turn a bit golden on the bottom, and then give them a stir.  Repeat for another 5 more minutes, then give them another good stir.  Then continue this rhythm — stirring the onions every 3-5 minutes or so initially, then every 1-2 minutes near the end — until the onions have caramelized into a rich chestnut brown color.  (Anytime the onions look like they are starting to burn on the bottom of the pan, just add in a splash of wine or water and use a wooden spoon to scrape up those browned bits on the bottom of the pan.)  Then stir in a half cup of wine to fully deglaze the bottom of the pan once the onions are ready to go.

French Onion Soup

How To Make French Onion Soup:

Once your onions are caramelized and ready to go, simply:

  1. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir the stock, Worcestershire, bay leaf and thyme together in a large stockpot, then let the soup continue to cook until it reaches a simmer.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes.  Then remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf, give the soup a taste, and season as needed with S&P.
  2. Toast the bread.  While the soup is simmering, go ahead and prep your toppings as well.  If you’re going the traditional route with a slice of bread, toast it in the oven or in a toaster until it is nice and golden.
  3. Broil.  Place your oven-safe bowls on a thick baking sheet.  Then once the soup is ready to go, ladle the soup into each bowl, top with the toasted bread and your desired amount of cheese.  Place the baking sheet on an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat and broil for 2-4 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly, keeping a close eye on the cheese so that it doesn’t burn.
  4. And…serve!  While the cheese is freshly-melted and the soup is hot and bubbly.  Yum.

Classic French Onion Soup Recipe

Possible Variaions:

There are all sorts of tweaks, shortcuts and additions that you are welcome to use to customize your own French onion soup recipe.  For example, feel free to:

  • Skip the broiling step.  If you don’t happen to have oven-safe bowls for this recipe, or if you would just prefer to skip the broiling part of the recipe all together, feel free to just top your soup with the hot slices of toast and then sprinkle the cheese on top.  (Or you can bake up cheesy toasts in the oven, and then add them to your soup.)
  • Use croutons.  In lieu of toasting slices of bread, you could also save time by using store-bought or homemade croutons.
  • Use dried herbs.  If you don’t have fresh thyme on hand, feel free to substitute a teaspoon of dried thyme instead.  Or I also sometimes like to use herbs de Provence instead for extra flavor.
  • Make it vegetarian. Use veggie stock (plus vegan Worcestershire, if you would like).
  • Make it vegan. Use vegan butter (or olive oil), veggie stock, vegan Worcestershire and vegan cheese.
  • Make it gluten-free. Use gluten-free flour (or just omit the flour entirely) and gluten-free bread.

French Onion Soup in Bowls with Melted Cheese and Thyme

What To Serve With French Onion Soup:

Looking for some good side dishes to serve with this recipe?  Here are a few of my faves:

Enjoy, everyone!

BEST French Onion Soup Recipe

French Onion Soup Recipe

French Onion Soup

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x


My all-time favorite French Onion Soup recipe — surprisingly easy to make, and full of the best flavor.



  • 4 pounds yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced (approximately 56 large onions)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups of beef stock (or veggie stock)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
  • baguette
  • grated or sliced cheese (such as Gruyere, Asiago, Swiss, Gouda or Mozzarella)


  1. Caramelize the onions. In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and sauté until well for about 30 minutes until caramelized (but not burnt), initially stirring every 3-5 minutes, then about once a minute near the end of caramelization to prevent burning*.  Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.  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.
  2. Simmer the soup. Add the stock, Worcestershire, bay leaf, and thyme and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for at least 10 minutes.  Discard the bay leaf and sprigs of thyme.  Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Toast the bread.  Preheat oven to 400°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.
  4. Broil the topping. Switch the oven to the broiler.  Once the soup is ready to serve, place your oven-safe bowls on a thick baking sheet.  Ladle the soup into each bowl, 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, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  (Keep a close eye on them so that they do not burn.)  Remove from the oven and serve immediately while the soup is hot and bubbly.

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220 comments on “French Onion Soup”

  1. I added some extra spices because I used vegetable stock. I added cajun spice, ground mustard & nutritional yeast and smoked paprika. Soooo good 😍,

  2. It was good but not great. Maybe cause I used unsalted beef broth..but then added a decent amount of salt and added 2 unsalted beef bouillon
    Tasty but not restaurant quality
    Hubby liked so may make again

  3. Made this yesterday and it’s the best French onion soup I have ever had and easy to make. Will pass this recipe on to all my friends.

  4. When do you add the flour to thicken?

  5. My family loved it. Also for once I actually followed the recipe no adaptations except was heavy on the butter..

  6. First time making French Onion Soup and it was fabulous! Love that I found such a delicious vegetarian recipe!

  7. I do this and add bell pepper celery brown hamburger meat put it all together add some peas and serve it over egg noodles !!! My friends love it !!!!

  8. The best and tastiest version, absolutely fabulous, thank you!!

  9. More sweet then I like.

  10. I had a couple onions I needed to use and found this recipie. Since I had to 3rd it, I was disappointed that I only ended up with 2 bowls – because it was so good! I did sub red wine for the white because of the pandemic it’s what I had on hand.

  11. This was so SO delicious. I traded out the wine for Apple cider vinegar and it turned out fantastic. Very flavorful. I’ll definitely make this again.

  12. When I became vegetarian, I was so sad to say goodbye to French onion soup. I haven’t been able to find a good vegetarian French onion soup recipe until this one! THIS IS SOOOOOOO GOOD.

    I used ‘better than bouillon’ veggie for my stock and kept the rest the same… and my god, this vegetarian recipe not only tasted like original beef French onion soup, but it was the best I’ve ever had!! I am OBSESSED!!!

  13. Holy Cow …it doesnt get better than this.!!! Believe it or not this was Christmas Dinner. I went the slow and slow road. So I cooked the onions a little longer starting low and slow eventually turning up the heat a bit until I achieved the carmelized level I was looking for. Other than cooking the onions that way the rest of your recipe was followed verbetim. I actually went the full 9 yards and cooked my own beef broth prior to starting this recipe. OK so Im ready for bowl two!! Yum.

  14. Sounds delicious I wish I could make this where I live they try to make a soup and call it French onion but it’s not even close

  15. Yummy! Made it as written. May have been a little generous with the wine ;)

    I used all red onions because that’s just what I had.

    Definitely better than many I’ve had in restaurants!

  16. I’ve been searching for the perfect French Onion soup. I think I found it. Wow. Rich and delicious. Thank you.

  17. This soup was delicious! I often used your recipes and they never disappoint! I used dried thyme instead of fresh and used good quality beef broth. I will note that 4 lbs would be WAY too much onion. I used a 2 lbs bag and found the soup to be quite thick…4 lbs and I don’t think there would be any liquid left.

  18. Delicious and even better the next day.

  19. This was honestly terrible. I followed the recipe and I am a very taught cook when it comes to these things. This recipe turned out very bitter. So bad in fact that I poured it down the drain. I felt bad for serving it. I ended up eating canned ravioli that night instead and it was 100% better. That is very sad to say. I’m glad other people enjoyed this recipe but it was straight up disgusting for me.

    • I have no clue how you managed to make this soup bitter. It is more on the sweet side, never bitter. My daughter made it yesterday, with german vegetable both. It was delicious. She is a teenager!

  20. This was delicious!

  21. My husband and I made this last night and LOVED it!

  22. I made this tonight, it’s such a fantastic recipie❤
    All I can say is…. mmmmmmmm

  23. Nice job. Give yourself a pat on the back. We haven’t gotten to the bread, and cheese part yet, and are already sold this is a keeper. I think success will come if a person actually caramelizes the onion, and uses a decent stock/broth.

  24. It took a loooooong time to caramelize the onions….like over an hour….but it was worth it! We used mushroom broth and Parmesan shavings on the toasted bread. My husband doesn’t even like French onion soup, but he acid enjoy this recipe 🙂

  25. This soup was seriously easy and astonishing in its flavor. I didn’t have worcestershire, so went with wine, probably a bit too much, but it didn’t hurt the flavor at all. I didn’t have any thyme that I liked, so went with a sprinkle of spaghetti herbs for their thyme. Next time, I’ll use croutons, and provolone cheese, I think. But the soup was wonderful! Thank you for explaining the caramelizing process, too–that’s the reason I always avoided making this soup before. This is a keeper.

  26. I don’t like the taste of thyme so I decreased the amount. If I make it again I will leave it out all together. Other wise great.

  27. I made this today. I used some red wine in the broth which I made myself and some red and white to deglaze the pan. It made (6) 1.5 cup servings. Served 3 tonight. The recipe is lovely. I only tweaked by adding fresh herbs of parsley to serve and a touch of cilantro in the broth. Less olive oil, more butter. Delish and can’t wait to eat the rest another day. I put he leftover in the freezer.

  28. Delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  29. I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious!!
    Great recipe, thank you!

  30. Awesome recipe! I trebled it and the result was fantastic! I only made a few slight changes: A cupful+ of dry sherry, 2 heaping tablespoonsful and some crushed red pepper. My picky eaters went crazy over this as did my best friend, her two children and her BF. THANK YOU FOR THIS WONDERFUL RECIPE!!!

  31. Made this for our annual New Years French Onion soup. Outstanding and seemed more simple than other recipes i have tried. We hand delivered a warm crock to our neighbor who was alone for the holidays and he said it was the best he had ever had. We share that opinion. I think this soup will be the one i make every year. Thank you:)

  32. Made this tonight and we LOVED it….very easy and delicious.! Followed directions exactly;however, we added so additional spices of basil, rosemary and umami…Will make again!

  33. Really enjoyed this even though I was out of butter and garlic. I just read the review which mentions nutritional yeast and I will definitely try that next time.