This Homemade French Onion Soup recipe is rich, thick and delicious. Slow cooked, caramelized onions, beef stock, french bread and Swiss cheese are combined for a hearty, comforting bowl of soup.
My absolute favorite soup is French Onion Soup, so when I cook it, I want the real deal. No cutting corners on this one!
It's a very flavorful soup that takes a few hours to prepare but believe me ... it's totally worth it!
It's cooked low and slow ... the ONLY way to cook French Onion Soup!
- Onions: Vidalia onions are delicious in French onion soup because they are sweet, which creates the most amazing caramelized onions! Yellow onions are an option as well.
- Beef Stock: A rich and hearty soup almost always starts with a delicious stock. Use homemade or store-bought stock instead of beef broth which is less flavorful.
- Seasonings: A combination of salt, pepper, paprika, bay leaf and fresh thyme lend an earthy, balanced flavor to the sweet onions.
- White wine: This ingredient adds a bit of acid to help cut the richness of the soup.
- Swiss cheese and French bread: Slices of bread float on top of the soup, layered with slices of cheese. Using your oven's broiler, the cheese is melted to perfection right before serving!
How to make French Onion Soup
- Slice the onions very thin. You can do this by hand but a food processor makes this part fast and easy.
- Melt the butter in a large dutch oven or heavy pot, add the onions and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes to prevent sticking.
- After 1 hour, turn up the heat to med-low and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Stir the onions every 5-10 minutes.
- Add the seasonings and fresh thyme and cook 5 minutes on low heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour with a cup of beef broth and then add it, the remaining broth and white wine to the pot. Stir until everything is mixed well.
- Bring to a low boil and then simmer on low heat, with the lid tilted, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Pour the soup into oven safe bowls, top with a slice of french bread and then a layer of Swiss cheese slices.
- Arrange the bowls on a baking sheet and then place them under the broiler in your oven until the cheese is melted and golden brown on top.
This soup is best made the day before you want to serve it. This allows the flavors to develop into the most wonderful bowl of soup you've ever had!
Just put the pot of soup into the refrigerator until you are ready to serve and then heat it up on the stove top before pouring into separate bowls.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat the soup on the stovetop in a saucepan.
5 easy soup recipes to make this season
Homemade French Onion Soup Recipe
- 7-8 medium or 4-5 large Vidalia onions (sliced thinly)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 8 cups beef stock (or beef broth)
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 teaspoons kitchen bouquet (optional for deeper color)
- ¾ cup flour
- 12 slices aged swiss
- 1 loaf of french bread (cut into 1" slices)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (optional garnish)
- Place the sliced onions and butter in a large nonstick pot and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to prevent sticking. Turn the heat up to med-low and cook the onions for and additional 30 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Add the paprika, bay leaf, salt, pepper and thyme to the pot, stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk 1 cup of beef stock with the flour to make a slurry for thickening the soup.
- Add the remaining beef broth, the slurry mixture and the white wine to the pot and stir until fully incorporated. (Add the kitchen bouquet if you are using it.)
- Place lid at a tilt to let steam escape and bring the soup to a simmer on low heat for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
- Place the oven rack on second space from top and turn broiler on HIGH. Pour the soup into oven-safe bowls, top with a slice of french bread and then 2 of slices of Swiss cheese.
- Place the bowls on a heavy baking sheet and broil for about 3-5 minutes. (Keep an eye on the soup because the cheese will melt and brown very fast.)
- Remove the tray from oven and use oven mitts to transfer the bowl to heat-safe surface. Top with fresh thyme and serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat the soup on the stovetop in a saucepan.