Homemade French Onion Soup – Spend With Pennies


This French Onion Soup is a classic recipe that takes time but is easy to make and taste delicious.

Onions are caramelized on the stove and then cooked in a savory broth. It’s all topped with some crispy bread and cheese and broiled until melted and bubbly!

It’s easy to master a classic French Onion Soup recipe!

What is French Onion Soup?

This flavorful soup originated in Paris, France in the 18th century and first appeared in New York in a restaurant in 1861. French onion soup has sweet golden caramelized onions in a rich brown broth. It’s all topped with cheeses broiled over a thick baguette slice.

  • This soup takes a bit of time to make but the steps are easy.
  • A richly seasoned hearty broth is accented by softened onions sautéed in butter and served with bread or croutons under a topping of cheese.
  • French onion soup freezes well for future meals so double or triple the recipe if you’d like (more on freezing below).
  • Serve as a side, an appetizer, or a light dinner.

ingredients to make Homemade French Onion Soup

Ingredients for French Onion Soup

ONIONS – This is where the flavor comes from! We think the best onions for French onion soup are either sweet white onions or yellow onions. Vidalia or Walla Walla are great choices. The onions will cook low and slow and caramelize to a beautiful golden color.

BROTH – Beef broth or beef stock and a splash of dry white wine mixed with Worcestershire sauce give the soup a deep, rich, flavor.  For white wine in this recipe, choose a chardonnay, Pinot Gris, or Sauvignon Blanc. You can leave the wine out but it is recommended for the best flavor.

CHEESES – Our favorite includes a combination of Gruyere and parmesan broiled over the soup-soaked bread. Gruyere is a mildly flavored swiss cheese. Other cheeses include Emmental, mozzarella, or gouda.

How to Make French Onion Soup

  1. Caramelize the onions in butter until soft and golden brown, this should be done low and slow.
  2. Add the broth, seasonings and herbs per the recipe below. Simmer.
  3. Ladle the soup into oven-safe bowls and top with dry bread and cheese.
  4. Broil until melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.

steps for making French onoin soup

Bowls for French Onion Soup

Ceramic bowls are the best option for French onion soup. The bowls with the handles you see in the images here were purchased at the dollar store, they’re not expensive and I have had them for years! I serve other things in them too (like individual casseroles that bake in the oven, other soups etc).

You can purchase French onion soup bowls online but almost any ceramic bowl should be oven-proof, check the bottom of the bowl as it will usually indicate if it is oven safe.

No French Onion Soup Bowls? No Problem! 

Place the dry bread or crostini on a sheet pan and top with cheese. Broil until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Remove from the oven and use a spatula to transfer the bread to top a bowl of soup.

cooked Homemade French Onion Soup in bowls

Tips for a Great Soup

  • Choose sweet Vidalia or Walla Walla onions or yellow onions for this recipe.
  • Onions will reduce down to a small amount but you’ll need a large pan or dutch oven to begin.
  • Cook the onions very slowly, this step should take 30-40 minutes at a low temperature. This is where the flavor comes from.
  • I toast baguette slices under the broiler for French onion soup but leftover chunks of dry bread will work well too.
  • Place the bowls on a baking sheet, this makes them easier to transfer in and out of the oven.
  • French onion soup freezes beautifully. Cook and cool the onions and broth and then place in freezer bags. Thaw in a pot on the stove until hot and then top with bread and cheese and broil.

More Classic Soups

Did you make this Homemade French Onion Soup? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Homemade French Onion Soup

This flavorful French Onion Soup has rich beef broth filled with caramelized onions and topped with a golden bubbly cheese.


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  • Slice onions ¼” thick. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, over low heat in melted butter (with sugar if using) until golden, about 30-45 minutes.

  • Add beef broth, wine, thyme, bay leaf, black pepper, Worcestershire, dry sherry. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Remove bay leaf and thyme (if fresh) and discard.

  • Meanwhile, slice bread and brush with olive oil. Broil 2 minutes per side or until golden. 

  • Ladle soup into ceramic bowls. Add 2 slices of bread to each bowl. Divide cheeses over bowls and broil until golden and bubbly.

  • Choose sweet Vidalia or Walla Walla onions or yellow onions for this recipe. Sweeter varieties of onions may not need the sugar.
  • Onions will reduce down to a small amount but you’ll need a large pan or dutch oven to begin.
  • Cook the onions very slowly, this step should take 30-40 minutes at a low temperature. This is where the flavor comes from.
  • For white wine choose a chardonnay, Pinot Gris, or Sauvignon Blanc. You can leave the wine out but it is recommended for the best flavor.
  • Leftover chunks of dry bread will work well as the bread in this recipe too.
  • Place the bowls on a baking sheet, this makes them easier to transfer in and out of the oven.
  • French onion soup freezes beautifully. Cook and cool the onions and broth and then place in freezer bags. Thaw in a pot on the stove until hot and then top with bread and cheese and broil.

 

Calories: 552, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 1264mg, Potassium: 851mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1005IU, Vitamin C: 5.3mg, Calcium: 780mg, Iron: 1.8mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Appetizer, Soup

Cuisine American, French

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