The base for this classic soup recipe is a rich and savory broth flavored with caramelized onions! Top off each bowl with a piece of crusty baguette and a handful of shredded gruyere and you’ve got a french onion soup recipe that is both insanely delicious and budget friendly!
When I was younger, having soup for dinner was generally met with a disappointed sigh on my part. Even in restaurants if a side of soup came with my meal, I would always decline in favor of something else. That is, of course, unless french onion soup was on the menu! To be fair, this probably had less to do with the actual soup and more to do with the fact that the bowl was covered with a slice of crunchy baguette and a generous layer of melty gruyere cheese!
While I’ve now come to love all types of soups and stews, this classic french onion soup remains my all-time favorite and the best comfort food for a cozy evening.
caramelized onion broth
French onion soup gets its characteristically rich broth from caramelized onions. Caramelization can take from 30-45 minutes, but it’s important to be patient and not rush the process so that the onions become a deep brown color before moving to the next step of the recipe.
Once your onions are nice and caramelized, don’t forget to deglaze the pan with white wine! Scraping up the delicious brown bits at the bottom of the pan will add even more flavor to our soup! Finishing the broth is delightfully simple — add beef stock (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian option) and season with a splash of soy sauce, one bay leaf and fresh sprigs of thyme!
that cheesy bread topping
To make the classic topping, you’ll just need a crusty baguette and shredded cheese. While gruyere is the traditional choice, it can sometimes be rather expensive. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, try swiss cheese or even mozzarella!
How do we get that delicious bistro-style finish? First, start by toasting slices of the baguette in the oven so they’ll be ready when your soup is finished. Then, ladle individual portions of soup into oven-safe bowls. Top each bowl with a piece of toasted baguette (or two pieces!) and then generously sprinkle with shredded cheese to cover the entire bowl. Broil for a few minutes or until everything is nice and toasty!
No oven proof bowls? No problem! Just sprinkle each slice of baguette with the shredded cheese and broil until slightly golden. Then just top off each bowl of soup with a few of these cheesy croutons!
Hungry for more soup recipes? Try these!
- easy tomato soup
- thai curry soup with mushrooms
- mandu guk | korean dumpling soup
- mulligatawny | indian lentil soup
- yellow onions 6 medium (1.4 kg)
- butter 4 tbsp
- minced garlic 3 cloves
- white wine ½ c (120 ml)
- beef stock 6 c (1.5 l)
- soy sauce 1.5 tbsp
- bay leaf 1 leaf
- thyme 5 sprigs
- salt and pepper to taste
- baguette 4-8 slices
- shredded gruyere* 2 c (230 g)
- Peel and thinly slice the onions in half circles.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until dark golden brown and caramelized (about 30-45 minutes), stirring often.
- Add the garlic and cook for two minutes.
- Stir in the wine to deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
- Pour in the beef stock and soy sauce. Add the bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a slight boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- While the soup is simmering, preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Toast the baguette slices in the oven for about 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Turn the oven to broil. Ladle the soup into individual oven-safe bowls. Top with a baguette slice and generously sprinkle with grated cheese. Broil for about 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Alternatively, if you don't have individual oven-safe bowls, you can broil the toasts with cheese for a few minutes and then add them to the soup.
- cheese: if you can't find gruyere, swiss cheese will also work here!