Supremely cheesy and with bold notes of dry red wine, this French Onion soup recipe is delightful to sip on, especially with a baguette.
Easy French onion soup for a cool winter day
Sometimes, just reading the word “French” in front of a recipe is enough to make you hesitate. Isn’t French cooking difficult?
Don’t be intimidated! This French onion soup has lots of complex flavors, but it is actually as easy to make as chicken soup or tomato soup.
The most time-consuming part of this recipe is thinly slicing three pounds of onions. If you have a food processor, this is the time to get it out and dust it off. That machine will slice everything evenly (and tear-free).
Every sip of this soup is delightful. The rich broth is wonderfully thick. But it’s just thin enough to dip your baguette into. Oh, and the cheese – you have to use gruyere cheese. Not only does it melt perfectly, but it’s so rich and creamy and has an unmistakably earthy taste. Not much compares to the flavor and melting texture of gruyere cheese.
Keep reading, and I’ll share tips, tricks, and the entire recipe for this luxurious (but easy) French onion soup!
The ingredients in this French onion soup recipe are as close to whole foods as I could find. Plus, you probably already have most of these ingredients in your pantry already. I love to use recipes that don’t require fancy ingredients or anything that you wouldn’t already have at home.
All you really need for this soup is:
- Butter: In order to control how salty the soup is, use unsalted butter. You’ll need 1/2 a stick, which is the same as 4 tablespoons.
- Onions: This is the star of the soup! Thinly slice about 3 pounds of yellow onions.
- Garlic: Add 3 cloves of garlic that you mince up.
- Salt: This enhances all the other flavors in the soup, so mix in 1/2 teaspoon.
- Pepper: Mix in the same amount of pepper, so about 1/2 a teaspoon.
- Bay Leaves: These give an earthiness to the soup, so add two bay leaves.
- Thyme: Fresh herbs taste the best, so add 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
- Dry Red Wine: You can either use one cup of red cooking wine or your favorite dry red-drinking wine.
- Flour: This thickens the soup, so use 3 tablespoons of either all-purpose flour or your favorite gluten-free flour.
- Broth: The base of the soup is 8 cups of beef broth or beef stock.
- Baguette: Slice a baguette into 16 pieces and serve it with your soup.
- Grated Gruyere Cheese: French onion soup needs melted gruyere cheese on top, add 2 cups.
Kitchen tools required
You don’t need any fancy kitchen gadgets to make this easy French onion soup recipe. It will be easier to slice your onions if you have a food processor, but it’s not required.
Grab the following tools before you begin:
- Large Dutch Oven
- Food Processor or Mandolin Slicer
- Wooden Spoon
- Serrated Knife
- Cutting Board
- Soup Bowls
For measuring, you will need 1 cup, 1 tablespoon, and 1/2 teaspoon.
How to make the best homemade French onion soup
This best-ever zesty and cheesy French onion soup is so easy to make! All the exact steps are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post too.
The very first step is to slice up three pounds of onions. It’s easier to do this with a food processor, but you can use a mandolin slicer too.
Then, in a large dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Once it’s melted, add in sliced onions and mix. Allow the onions to cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
After 15 minutes, turn the heat to medium, and add garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the onions are brown and caramelized. Keep stirring occasionally.
Once onions are caramelized, add wine and let reduce until most of the wine has evaporated – this will take about 5 minutes. Then stir in the flour.
Once the flour is incorporated, add beef broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to broil.
Fill soup bowls or crocks with soup, then add 2 slices of baguette and 1/4 cup shredded gruyere on top of each bowl. Broil for 5-6 minutes or until the top is bubbly and golden. Keep an eye on it!
That’s it! You’re ready to enjoy the soup.
Here are some questions people often ask about making homemade French onion soup. If you don’t see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.
What is French onion soup broth made of?
Traditionally, French onion soup broth was made of either beef stock or beef broth. I stayed true to the traditional recipe and used beef broth.
How many people will this recipe serve?
This easy homemade French onion soup makes enough to serve 8 people. You will probably have some leftovers.
What type of onions is best for French onion soup?
French onion soup is traditionally made with thinly sliced yellow onions. They have a wonderfully mild flavor that doesn’t overtake the entire soup.
If you don’t have yellow onions, you can use white onions instead. I do not recommend trying to make this recipe with red onions. They are far too aromatic and pungent. They will make your soup taste too strong.
The best way to store leftover homemade French onion soup is to store it in an airtight, spill-proof container and refrigerate it for up to three days.
Try these soup recipes next!
If you liked this French onion soup recipe, you’re going to love my other popular soup recipes! Here are some of my favorites. Which will you make for your family?
- Lightened Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
- Easy Tortellini Spinach Soup
- Easy Cheeseburger Soup Recipe
- Butternut Squash Soup (Vegan, Dairy-free)
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 tbsp)
- 5 yellow onions, sliced thin (about 3lbs)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 3 tbsp flour
- 8 cups beef broth
- 16 slices of baguette
- 2 cups grated gruyere cheese
- In a large dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Once melted, add in sliced onions and mix. Allow to cook for 15 minutes over medium-heat, stirring occasionally.
- After 15 minutes, turn heat to medium, and add garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook for another 20-30 minutes or until onions are brown and caramelized. Keep stirring occasionally.
- Once onions are caramelized, add wine and let reduce until most of the wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Then stir in the flour.
- Once flour is incorporated, add beef broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to broil.
- Fill soup bowls or crocks with soup, then add 2 slices of baguette and 1/4 cup shredded gruyere on top of each bowl. Broil for 5-6 minutes or until top is bubbly and golden. Keep an eye on it!
There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use myself. Thank you for supporting Erin Lives Whole, it helps keep this blog afloat 🙂