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 after all, the sweet, caramelized onions are the star of this fabulous and impressive soup!
You'll love this recipe!
- Authentic and foolproof - Julia's seasonings are spot on...
- Easy - the hardest part about this recipe is cooking the onions...which requires patience...
- Leftovers are delicious-if you have any french onion soup leftover it will be as good, if not better than the first time around
How to make it:
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. One thing is certain- you will need a mandolin to slice the onions.
- 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 onions?
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. You can use plain white onions if you want.
What kind of cheese?
Traditional, classic or authentic recipes generally use Gruyere cheese because of it's nutty flavor and melting capabilities. Unfortunately, Gruyere is expensive, so if you want, use a high-quality Swiss cheese.
Get a Swiss cheese that's in a block-not one that's pre-shredded. Those are coated with an anti-caking ingredient and they don't melt as well as the block 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 ⅔ 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
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.
French onion soup can be made in advance; make the soup and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-days.
Prior to serving, reheat the soup on the stove or microwave, ladle into ramekins, add bread, cheese and broil!
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If you make this recipe, please scroll down and leave a comment and rating. I love to hear from you! Thank you!
French Onion Soup
- Mandolin slicer is recommended
- 5-6 large onions sliced very thin; white or "plain" yellow; not "sweet yellow onions" See Recipe Notes
- 1 stick butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 64 oz. beef broth
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ½ 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 heat until onions are brown; be patient...this takes a while
- 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 ¼ 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 ⅔ 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
- Do not substitute "Sweet" Yellow onions for the onions in this recipe. Use white onions, or plain yellow onions, but do not buy "sweet" yellow onions...don't ask me how I know this:)