Wednesday, January 22, 2014

French Onion Soup

Classic French Onion soup is a hearty starter that can also be served as a meal.  This country style dish first caramelizes the onions then slowly simmers it in a beef broth flavored with wine, thyme and bay leaf.  The soup is then topped with toasts and Swiss Gruyere cheese and briefly broiled in the oven. The result is a very satisfying sweet onion soup with thick melted cheese and a soup soaked toast.  It is a wonderful combination of simple ingredients that really gives the dish its delicious flavor.

To create a vegetarian version, substitute the beef broth with vegetable broth.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 55 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Special Tools: Large Dutch Oven or Cast Iron Pot


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Yellow Onions julienned
2 Red Onions julienned
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2 Garlic Cloves minced
6 Cups Beef Broth
6 Thyme twigs stems discarded
1 Bay Leaf
1/4 Cup White Wine
6 Slices French Bread (about an inch thick)
1.5 Cups Swiss Gruyere Cheese grated

Place the olive oil over high heat in a dutch oven or large cast iron pot.  Add the yellow and red onions and sauté until the onions are soft and transparent (about 10 minutes).   Add the sugar and sauté for another 5 minutes to caramelize the onions.  Add the garlic and stir fry until fragrant.  Pour in the beef broth, fresh thyme, bay leaf and white wine.  Season with salt, stir the ingredients, and bring the pot to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a low simmer.  Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes with the lid partially covering the pot.

While the soup simmers, set the oven rack to a position that will accommodate the dutch oven or cast iron pot for the soup. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit on broil.  Place the slices of bread on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in the oven to a firm and lightly brown crisp (about 5-8 minutes). Set the toasts aside.

After 30 minutes remove the soup from the heat.   Uncover the pot and arrange the slices of toast to float on the surface of the soup.  Sprinkle the grated Swiss Gruyere cheese over the bread and all over the surface of the soup (some cheese can be set aside for garnishing).  Place the uncovered dutch oven pot in the oven to melt and brown the cheese (about 5-8 minutes).

To serve ladle the soup into bowls with at least one toast on each bowl.  Additional cheese can be sprinkled over the soup. Enjoy.


  1. This sounds awesome! Saving this recipe! Love french food!

    1. Thanks Kristie. French Onion Soup is one of my favorites. Hope you like this recipe as much as I do. :-)