French Onion Soup Recipe, based on the classic French version by the infamous Julia Child. It consists of a rich, savory beef broth accented with caramelized onions, a hint of sage and a decadent layer of melted Gruyere.
Easy to make, this classic French onion soup requires a bit of patience when cooking the onions afterall, the sweet, caramelized onions are the star of this fabulous and impressive soup!
What Kind of Onions Should I Use for French Onion Soup?
Julia Child's original recipe calls for yellow onions, and I couldn't agree more! Note, these are not sweet yellow onions, but plain yellow onions! I once made the mistake of using sweet onions and the flavor of the soup was definitely "off" a bit.
How Do I Make This Classic French Soup?
The soup itself cooks pretty quickly, however, the onions require a bit of time--about 30 minutes of cooking on low heat in order to caramelize.
- In a large stockpot, melt oil and butter on medium heat
- Add sliced onions; coat onions well; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes; stir onions frequently to prevent burning
- Add salt and sugar to onions; coat well; continue to cook until onions are caramelized (brown in color)
- Reduce heat to medium low; sprinkle in flour and coat onions;
- Add beef stock, wine, sage, bay leaf; allow to simmer for 30 minutes
- Taste for seasonings; add salt and pepper to your preference
What Kind of Cheese Should I Use?
Traditional, classic or authentic recipes generally use Gruyere cheese because of it's nutty flavor and melting capabilities. Unfortunately, Gruyere is expensive and in this case, use a high-quality Swiss cheese.
How to Serve French Onion Soup
You'll want to serve this delicious soup in an oven-safe ramekin. Once the soup is seasoned to your liking, it's time to finish it off with bread and cheese!
- Preheat oven to the broil setting
- Place ramekins on a baking sheet
- Ladle soup into ramekins 2/3 of the way
- Place a thin slice of bread on the soup
- Top the bread with a generous amount of cheese
- Place under broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble
- Remove baking sheet from oven
- Carefully place each ramekin on a saucer (the ramekins get very very hot in the oven-use an oven mitt)
- Garnish with fresh sage; serve
What Entree Goes Well with French Onion Soup?
This full-bodied French soup can stand on it's own or serve as a first course to a delicious entree of pasta, steak, baked chicken or fish. Since the soup uses beef broth, it pairs nicely with beef and a glass of red or white wine.
Can I Make this In Advance?
French onion soup can be made in advance; make the soup and store in an air-tight container. Prior to serving, reheat the soup on the stove or microwave, ladle into ramekins, add bread, cheese and broil!
French Onion Soup
- 5-6 large yellow onions sliced very thin
- 1 stick butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 64 oz. beef broth
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sage , ground
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 12 oz. Swiss, Gruyere, or Comte cheese shredded
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 loaf French bread sliced
- salt & pepper to taste
Make the Soup
- Thinly slice onions; set aside
- Melt 1 stick of butter and oil in a large stock pot on medium heat
- Add sliced onions and sugar to melted butter and allow to cook on medium low until onions are brown
- Once onions are browned, add flour and beef stock; combine well
- Add wine, sage and bay leaf; bring to boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium low and cover
Make the Bread Topping
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Slice French Bread into 1/4 inch pieces
- Lightly coat bread slices with olive oil and place on oiled baking sheet
- Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 15 minutes; then turn bread slices and bake another 15 minutes, or until golden brown
- Remove from oven and set aside
- Turn oven temperature to broil; remove bay leaf from soup
- Ladle onion soup 2/3 of the way into oven-safe ramekins; ; add toasted French bread; top with shredded cheese
- Place ramekins on baking sheet and place under broiler until cheese is nicely browned
- Remove baking sheet from oven; using a paper towel, dip the ends of the paper towel onto the residual oil from the baked cheese
- Ramekins will be extremely hot; allow to sit for about 8 minutes prior to serving