First Published: October 25, 2015… Last Updated: November 12, 2019
French Onion Soup is full of caramelized onions that have been simmered in red wine and beef broth, then put under the broiler to melt the cheese on top. This warm, comforting soup is perfect for cold days when you need to warm up!
This French Onion Soup recipe makes a delicious lunch or a great appetizer before dinner. Great for special family dinners or a romantic evening meal at home. This soup recipe warms your heart and soul and will make your guests tastebuds happy.
Why I decided to make French Onion Soup right at home
I never enjoyed a bowl of French Onion Soup until I visited a restaurant called Barkeaters in Watertown NY. It was my first bowl of soup I ever ordered out that wasn’t Clam Chowder! It was so delicious, I knew that one day I would be trying it on my own.
Like most people, when it starts to get chilly outside I want warm and comforting food. This French Onion Soup has become a staple in our home the minute we have our first frost of the season. The aroma in the house is undeniably inviting making lunch even more welcome!
The most important ingredients in this soup recipe
Onions: You want a sweet onion to make French Onion Soup. I use 4 large Vidalia onions for this recipe.
Beef Broth: Use a good quality broth. Bone broth is a good one to use. This is my favorite brand!
Fresh Thyme: I always have fresh thyme in my refrigerator. If you don’t have fresh, that is ok, you can substitute with dried thyme.
Bay Leaf: This is a pantry item that I don’t use too often, but that’s ok because it lasts a long time! I use it mainly in soups and stews and will put some on top of my Jalapeno Meatloaf when baking.
Wine: I always have a variety of wine in my home. I belong to this Simply Red Club where I have two bottles delivered to my door every other month! A dry red is best. I went with Cabernet for this recipe.
Bread: Use a sturdy bread that won’t fall apart when adding to the soup, but yet one that you can easily break with a spoon when dipping into the soup bowl. My preference is a crusty baguette with a firm edge but a chewy center.
Cheese: Use any cheese you love. The most common cheese used is Swiss, but I have also used Havarti, Provolone, and Parmesan Cheese.
The method for making French Onion Soup
This soup is really easy to make. It may be a little time consuming but well worth the time you put into it. The onions will simmer for about 25 minutes until they have caramelized. Then the wine is added and simmered until the wine has reduced down and onions are not liquidy.
Flour is used as a thickener for the soup and is added to the onions once the wine has reduced. It is sprinkled over top and stirred in, cooking it for at least 10 minutes to cook the raw flour taste out.
Finally, the beef broth is added. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. After it is done with the simmer, you can ladle the soup into a gratin dish, top with a slice of bread and Swiss cheese (provolone if you’re like my Grumpy!) and broil on high until melted and bubbly! The stringy, cheesy reward is divine!
Make this recipe your own
There are a few things you can do to change this recipe to make it work for you. Some suggestions are listed below.
Out of wine, or don’t like the flavor of red wine? Substituting 1 cup of beef broth for the red wine will work just as well. Or, you may want to substitute a white wine in place of the red.
Looking to reduce the carbs or be gluten-free? Omit the bread altogether and top with cheese slices, then broil.
Substitute vegetable broth for beef broth and make this a vegetarian soup.
Make it low carb and keto by using slices of this Keto Slider Bun for the bread. Skip the flour thickener and sprinkle a teaspoon of Xanthan Gum over the hot soup while stirring constantly.
To toast or not to toast the bread for your French Onion Soup
I have made this soup both ways. For me, it depends on the bread I am using for the recipe. I have used a sturdy Italian bread and not toasted it. The bread did not get soggy and was easy to break my spoon into.
When I make this low carb and keto-friendly by using a keto bread, I always toast it. Keto bread can fall apart way too easily and toasting it firms it up and dries it out, making the bread sturdier.
Toasting a very crusty piece of bread can make it harder to break up when diving in with your spoon. Do you really want to fight to get a bite of your food? In the long run, it really is your preference for what you want to do.
Other warm you up soup recipes you may enjoy
Chilly weather calls for a lot of soup, and I have the best soup recipes for you to make.
Hamburger Soup is one of my absolute favorite soup recipes. It’s right up there with this French Onion Soup.
Grumpy is all about the meatballs in this Pho Soup recipe with Spicy Meatballs. A little bit of spicy with delicious Asian flavors, this soup can easily be made a meal and it is keto-friendly!
This French Onion Soup is full of caramelized onions that have been simmered in red wine and beef broth, then put under the broiler to melt the cheese on top. This warm, comforting soup is perfect for cold days when you need to warm up!
1/4 cup unsalted butter or olive oil
4 sweet onions, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup red wine
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 cups beef stock
6 baguette slices
1/2 pound swiss cheese
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until onions are soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes.
Add wine, bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the wine has evaporated and onions start to dry.
Discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Sprinkle flour over onions and cook stirring so the flour doesn't burn for about 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
Add the beef broth 1 cup at a time, stirring well while doing so. Bring the soup back to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer another 10 minutes.
Place the soup in oven-safe bowls on a large baking sheet. Arrange bread slices on top of the soup and sprinkle with the cheese.
Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.
Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. We started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more
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