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Classic French Onion Soup


Today you will learn how to make classic French Onion Soup. This soup is always a cold-weather favorite, and today I’m going to show you exactly how it’s made.

Classic French Onion Soup

How To Make Classic French Onion Soup:

The first thing you’ll need of course is onions. You can use white, yellow, or sweet Vidalia onions, today I am using yellow. You just want to slice those right up.

I used 6 onions, you want to end up with about 6 cups. So if they’re smaller maybe add a few more, if they’re larger maybe you’ll only need 5.

The key to any French onion soup is caramelizing the onions. It does take time, but it’s a super easy process.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Then we’re gonna add all of our sliced onion into the pot. Your onions should basically fill up the whole pot, but don’t worry they do shrink down quite a bit.

Classic French Onion Soup

For the first 7-10 minutes or so, you’ll want to stir these over medium-high heat, until they start to get tender.


Once you have the initial sauté on the onions, then it’s time to reduce the heat to medium-low, continue cooking the onions over medium-low heat until they turn a golden brown, which will take about 25 minutes. 

Caramelizing onions is a long but simple process, you just need to be patient. While the heat’s on medium-low, you’ll only need to stir them maybe every 3-5 minutes. It takes some patience but you should end up with this deep golden brown color.

Then we’re gonna add in 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, and we’re gonna let this cook until the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant, which will take about 2 minutes. 

Then we’re gonna pour in 8 cups of beef broth, and you want to use a high-quality beef broth. 

Increase the heat to high and bring this to a simmer. When making soups I always recommend using a low sodium broth, that way you can control the salt content at home. 

I start off with about 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and add more to the taste.

You’ll also want to add in 1 teaspoon of dried thyme. 

How To Make Classic French Onion Soup

This next ingredient is optional, but it is the classic addition, which is 1/4 cup of dry sherry. Or you can use white wine or leave it out altogether. 

Give it a stir and bring it to a simmer. Once it comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it continue simmering for a good 20-30 minutes. 

In the meantime, you’ll want to prepare that delicious cheesy baguette topping. You’ll want to slice up a crusty baguette. You’ll need 2 slices of baguette per bowl. I always throw on a few extra. 

We’ll lay these out onto a baking sheet, then we’re gonna brush a little bit of olive oil onto each side of each little slice of baguette. 


We’re gonna toast these under the broiler setting of our oven, which is a top-down heat.

Once they get golden brown to pull them out and flip them over so that the other side can get toasted as well. How long it takes to toast will depend on your oven, the key to using the broiler setting is to watch it closely. 

Once they’re toasty on both sides, go ahead and pull them out of the oven and set them aside. Traditionally French onion soup is served up in individual bowls, and they need to be oven safe. 

If you don’t have oven-safe bowls, then you can use a little cheater method and put your cheeses onto your toasted baguette slices, and make a little cheesy toast. 

How To Make Classic French Onion Soup

Then when you serve, people can just ladle their soup into a regular soup bowl, and top with a little cheesy toast.

The full instructions will be on my website. For the traditional option, you’ll want to place 4 bowls onto a baking sheet, and they should be able to hold about 2 cups of liquid. 

Ladle your soup into the bowls, leave just a little room around the top, place on 2 slices of your toasted baguette, top that with 1 thick slice of gruyere or provolone cheese, then sprinkle about 1/2 tablespoon of freshly grated parmesan cheese on top of that. 

Then carefully slide this all into the oven underneath the broiler setting until the cheese is brown and bubbling. 

How To Make Classic French Onion Soup

Just watch them really closely and pull them out when they’re bubbly and brown. You’ll want to serve it up immediately while they’re still hot. 


If you want to add a little pop of color to make things a little prettier, just sprinkle on some freshly chopped parsley.

Classic French Onion Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

French Onion Soup is made the classic way with a delicious caramelized onion soup topped with a toasted baguette and gooey melted Gruyere cheese. This soup is a restaurant favorite!

Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Keyword: French Onion Soup
Calories: 425 kcal
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 medium yellow onions sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt , or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper , or to taste
Soup Topping
  • 8 slices French bread baguette
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices gruyere or provolone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add in onions and sautéed until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook onions until caramelized and golden, about 15 to 25 minutes, stirring every 3 to 5 minutes.

  2. Add in butter and garlic. Let cook until butter melts and garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  3. Pour in beef broth and sherry (if using). Season with thyme, salt, and black pepper. Add more seasoning to taste. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes.

  4. While the soup is simmering, brush each slice of baguette with olive oil on both sides. Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven underneath the broil setting until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and toast the other sides.

  5. Place 4 oven-safe bowls onto a baking sheet. Ladle soup into bowls. Place two slices of toasted baguette on each one. Top with a slice of gruyere cheese and finish with 1/2 tablespoon of parmesan cheese on each bowl.

  6. Slide baking sheet carefully into the oven underneath the broil setting until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Watch closely as broil times may vary. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes
If you do not have oven-safe bowls, you can simply put your cheeses onto your toasted French bread slices and melt under the broiler to make little cheesy toasts. When your soup is ready to serve, ladle soup into regular soup bowls and top with your cheesy toasts. 

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