This cheesy and easy French Onion Soup tastes like it came straight from Parisian cafe. But you need not book a flight to enjoy my big-batch homemade French Onion Soup! Who’s ready to spoon?

French onion soup in a white bowl.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. French Onion Soup Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled French onion soup ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes

  • Onions: Standard yellow onions work great, but so do white onions, sweet onions, or even red onions. Speed up prep time by running the onions through a food processor rather than cutting onions by hand.
  • Chicken broth: Make your own chicken broth from scratch or stock up on a couple boxes or four cans of your favorite supermarket brand.
  • Beef broth: I like to make beef broth from beef base, a highly-concentrated beef stock similar to bullion cubes. My favorite is “Better than Bouillon” brand, a paste which is widely available and can turn up the savory flavor in any soup, stew, or sauce in seconds.
  • Baguette: Toasting the baguette slices makes them even better at sopping up the maximum amount of broth while holding the melty cheese. If desired, substitute store-bought or homemade croutons.
  • Swiss cheese. Gruyère, a pungent variety of Swiss cheese that is used in many French recipes, also melts beautifully atop French Onion Soup.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the onions are starting to darken and caramelize, about 30 minutes.
French onion soup ingredients cooking in a blue pot.
  1. Stir in vinegar and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add chicken broth, beef broth, thyme, and bay leaves. Simmer until reduced slightly, about 20 minutes. Season to taste salt and pepper.
French onion soup ingredients cooking in a blue pot.
  1. Preheat oven broiler on HIGH. Place broiler-safe soup bowls on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the soup evenly among the 8 bowls (about 1 cup each). Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices and cover with one slice of cheese (or ¼ cup shredded).
French onion soup in white bowls.
  1. Broil until the cheese is hot and bubbly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley, if desired.
French onion soup in white bowls on a silver tray.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: My homemade French Onion Soup recipe makes eight cozy (1-cup) servings that work well as a starter, side dish, or light main dish.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: French Onion Soup can be made up to 3 days ahead and reheated (the flavor even improves as it sits). Save the baguette slices, cheese, and parsley for serving time.
  • Freezer: French Onion Soup can be cooked, cooled, and frozen for up to 2 months (without the baguettes, cheese, and parsley). Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove to serve.
  • Make it a meal: True, soup is often a starter. But I prefer to make this the centerpiece of the meal, either lunch or dinner, and round out the spread with Beet Salad, No-Knead Bread, and a crisp French white wine.

How to Make Chicken Broth

For the best, most delicious homemade chicken broth, start with a whole raw chicken or chicken pieces and simple vegetables and herbs. At the end of it, you’ll have 4 cups of delicious cooked chicken and…

1 hour 40 minutes
View Recipe

More cozy soups

French onion soup in a white bowl.

French Onion Soup

This cheesy and easy French Onion Soup tastes like it came straight from Parisian cafe. But you need not book a flight to enjoy my big-batch homemade French Onion Soup! Who's ready to spoon?
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 8 servings (1 cup each)
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, French
Calories 264

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pounds onions halved and thinly sliced (see note 1)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups chicken broth (see note 2)
  • 2 cups beef broth (see note 3)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme minced, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 baguette sliced and toasted (see note 4)
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese or 2 cups shredded (see note 5)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped, for garnish, optional

Instructions 

  • In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the onions are starting to darken and caramelize, about 30 minutes.
  • Stir in vinegar and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add chicken broth, beef broth, thyme, and bay leaves. Simmer until reduced slightly, about 20 minutes. Season to taste salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven broiler on HIGH. Place broiler-safe soup bowls on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the soup evenly among the 8 bowls (about 1 cup each). Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices and cover with one slice of cheese (or ¼ cup shredded).
  • Broil until the cheese is hot and bubbly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley, if desired.

Notes

  1. Onions: Standard yellow onions work great, but so do white onions, sweet onions, or even red onions. Speed up prep time by running the onions through a food processor rather than cutting onions by hand.
  2. Chicken broth: Make your own chicken broth from scratch or stock up on a couple boxes or four cans of your favorite supermarket brand.
  3. Beef broth: I like to make beef broth from beef base, a highly-concentrated beef stock similar to bullion cubes. My favorite is “Better than Bouillon” brand, a paste which is widely available and can turn up the savory flavor in any soup, stew, or sauce in seconds.
  4. Baguette: Toasting the baguette slices makes them even better at sopping up the maximum amount of broth while holding the melty cheese. If desired, substitute store-bought or homemade croutons.
  5. Swiss cheese. Gruyère, a pungent variety of Swiss cheese that is used in many French recipes, also melts beautifully atop French Onion Soup.
  6. Yield: My homemade French Onion Soup recipe makes eight cozy (1-cup) servings that work well as a starter, side dish, or light main dish.
  7. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  8. Make ahead: French Onion Soup can be made up to 3 days ahead and reheated (the flavor even improves as it sits). Save the baguette slices, cheese, and parsley for serving time.
  9. Freezer: French Onion Soup can be cooked, cooled, and frozen for up to 2 months (without the baguettes, cheese, and parsley). Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove to serve.
  10. Make it a meal: True, soup is often a starter. But I prefer to make this the centerpiece of the meal, either lunch or dinner, and round out the spread with Beet Salad, No-Knead Bread, and a crisp French white wine.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 264kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 11gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 1127mgPotassium: 489mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 410IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 219mgIron: 2mg
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