French Onion Soup

Much of the success of this soup depends on the stock that you are using, and stock varies tremendously in its taste. Depending on your stock, you may need to bump up the flavor with some beef bouillon (we recommend "Better than Bouillon brand").

Taste the soup before putting it in the oven, and if it needs more seasoning, don't be afraid to add more!

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 6 large red or yellow onions (about 3 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced root to stem (see How to Slice an Onion), about 10 cups of sliced onions total
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of beef stock, chicken stock, or a combination of the two (traditionally the soup is made with beef stock)
  • 1/2 cup of dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon (loose) of fresh thyme (can also use a few sprigs of fresh thyme) OR 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
  • 8 slices French bread or baguette cut 1-inch thick
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere and a sprinkling of Parmesan


1 Caramelize the onions: In a 5 to 6 quart thick-bottomed pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and toss to coat with the olive oil.

Cook the onions, stirring often, until they have softened, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium high. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter and cook, stirring often, until the onions start to brown, about 15 more minutes.


Then sprinkle with sugar (to help with the caramelization) and 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook until the onions are well browned, about 10 to 15 more minutes.


Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more.

2 Deglaze the pot with vermouth: Add the vermouth to the pot and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom and sides of the pot, deglazing the pot as you go.


3 Add stock and seasonings: Add the stock, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes.

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Season to taste with more salt and add freshly ground black pepper. Discard the bay leaves. Add brandy if using.

4 Toast French bread slices: While the soup is simmering, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil and preheat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven.

Brush both sides of the French bread or baguette slices lightly with olive oil (you'll end up using about a tablespoon and a half of olive oil for this).

Put in the oven and toast until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven.

french-onion-soup-method-5 french-onion-soup-method-6

Turn the toasts over and sprinkle with the grated Gruyere cheese and Parmesan. Return to oven when it's close to serving time and bake until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

5 Serve: To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and transfer one cheesy toast onto the top of each bowl of soup.

Alternatively, you can use individual oven-proof bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350° F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned.

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  • Janice



  • Karen

    Man this soup for my work place and ppl love it

  • Natalia Jones

    This soup is delicious but for me it took 2 hours to make. If you want to speed up the process of cutting onions, just put them in a food processor. Overall it was a great recipe .


  • Gloryann

    Outstanding. Worth the tears of slicing six onions.


  • Eve

    A simple procedure and tasty recipe even with no vermouth or brandy, plus other substitutions given what I had on hand. I used dry white wine to deglaze the pan, Imagine organic beef broth and a few sprigs of lemon thyme from the garden (frozen). Sourdough multigrain toasted bread with melted cheddar cheese to finish. Not classic but still delicious!


  • Pamela Moore

    Fabulous! Even without the alcohol and recommended seasonings. I used a special variety of North Carolina sweet onions that our local roadside farm stand sells for only a few weeks in the spring. I used Herbs de Provence, Costco salt free seasoning, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. I used organic beef Better than Bouillon (great stuff) and needed to make it a bit stronger than the directions on the jar to make that soup taste rich enough. Made the toast with French Gaelic cheese (mild Swiss flavor). Really appreciated the detailed instructions on how to caramelize the onions. Thanks! Great recipe!


  • Kathleen

    Loved it, followed recipe to a T, I love caramelized onions and the one with brie is looking like another to try.


  • Kelly Bambrough

    It turned out great! I substituted it with red wine. Added 3 different kinds of onion.( Red, white, and Spanish.) Along with the garlic, thyme and Bay leaf, I also added worshire sause. Add a little more Brandy. When I was done toasting the baget. I added 3 different cheese’s. The family loved it and will make it again.

  • Ann Soldano

    Deep flavor! What really made it was the vermouth, the Brandy, and the thyme. Do you not omit it. It’s so delicious. I was just going to wing it making French onion soup, and then I saw this recipe! it’s wonderful.


  • Alan

    It turned out wonderfully. Everyone loved it


    • jordan

      was great. :) i added some rosemary and it gave it a nice sweet earthy taste. and some mushrooms

  • Monica

    Exactly what I had hoped to make! Delicious recipe! Thanks.


  • Mary

    Awesome recipe! Restaurant quality! This one is a keeper!!

  • Beatrix

    Easy to follow the recipe and the outcome is simply magical. We loved it and it was gone immediately. Next time I’ll make more that’s for sure.


  • Marion

    Delicious and hearty. I only added 1/4 cup of full bodied red wine to the vermouth you stated in recipe.


  • Mindy

    The BEST and easiest French Onion Soup!!! My family loves it! I serve with a copy cat Panera Fuji Apple Salad. I actually leave all the alcohol out ( just didn’t have any in the house when I first made it. So delicious!!! Thanks for the recipe!


  • Brian Ellis

    fantastic….caramelised onions properly this time.

  • Jennifer Hall

    Soup was delicious ,I added some portbella mushrooms to it and I thought it was great. Thank you


  • Mary

    Excellent! Made as recipe suggested! Yummy!


  • mike



  • Mike from mt.pleasant ont, Canada.

    Yum yum didn’t make enough ! Lol thanks

  • John MacLeod

    This recipe is spot on! Delicious and simple to make. I followed the recipe to the letter and ended up with absolutely delicious French Onion soup. Thank you


  • Lillie

    The taste was perfect. I followed the recipe to the max. I will make it again thank you


  • Lindsay

    This smelled so good and I was so excited to try it but it was very sweet and kind of watery. I used sweet onions so in hindsight I shouldn’t have used the sugar or at least reduced it. I also used an unsalted “bold” stock that I often use. Do you think I can add some better than bullion now and summer for another 30 to try to bump up the flavor?

    I will add I thought the instructions were wonderful!


    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Lindsay! French Onion Soup does tend to be a fairly sweet soup when all is said and told, but yes, you could certainly add some bouillon and simmer a little longer. Adding some more wine or a splash of white wine vinegar can also help cut the sweetness. Enjoy!

  • Dee

    Love this it’s not often seen on menu’s now but I really love this especially in the winter months


  • Aleta

    This recipe was wonderful! The only problem is that it was so good that my husband and I ate too much! I used whiskey to deglaze (that’s what we had in the house) and it was delicious. Thanks very much!


  • Jessica

    This is a great recipe! Thanks! I love the bowls you have pictured, do you happen to know who they are by?


  • Rosita Poon

    Perfect recipe. My family loves it!


  • Bob

    8 inch thick slices of bread? 8 – 1 inch thick slices of bread? Just sayin’. Punctuation changes everything.

  • Polliwog

    This was one of the best recipes I’ve ever tried. It was efficient and not time-consuming. I used vermouth and plan to use it exclusively from here on in. I let the aromatic scent linger simply bc it was so good and pleasant. Not only was the vermouth a more practical ingredient than wine, I like it better.

  • Cody

    Great recipe.

    Another tip to caramelize onions is to melt your butter and olive oil over medium/medium-low heat, add onions and a pinch of salt and coat with the fat. Cover the pot and let it set over the heat for about 20 minutes while they soften stirring very occasionally – generally, just leave them alone. Then continue on with how one would normally caramelize onions. Up the heat, add a pinch of sugar, and stir, stir, stir. (This is a tip from Julia Child and it really helps with the process).

  • Necie Cat

    Made this tonight, the things I altered was adding 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire and instead of vermouth I used cooking sherry. I also used provolone instead of Gruyere. I got rave reviews from my kids and husband. Frankly, I am impressed with myself. It was delicious.

  • Marlene shoenfeld

    I put too much tyme in,help to counter act it?

  • Sue

    A few comments: nice recipe that reviews carmelizing onions! One or two reviews said the soup was bitter. I highly suggest this was due to burning rather than carmelizing the onions. (Voice of experience). But don’t be turned off, try it again. I have to admit that I used only 5-6 cups of broth, and wonder if anyone else reduced the final amount of liquid.


  • [email protected]

    I followed the recipe and my gf told me that it tasted like tomato soup……however I loved it and very simple to follow.


  • Cynthia

    I used Vidalia onions and should have left out the sugar. Between the sweet onions, sugar, and white wine, it was too sweet. I also do the bread in the French manner, spreading it with butter, a bit of garlic powder, and parmesan cheese, then broiling. I then place the crouton in the bottom of the bowl and ladle the soup over it, before topping with a slice of gruyere.


  • Barb

    Followed the instructions exactly and it turned out awesome! Thanks for such clear instructions. My family love it!


  • Danielle

    Very easy to follow tasty recipe. I tried white onions only the first batch then decided to try adding a couple of red onions in too second time around and think this added a little something extra.
    My husband also requested I add some finely chopped red chilies to his , he liked the kick of heat with the sweetness of the onions.


  • Katie

    I followed the recipe almost exactly. We used vermouth and sprigs of fresh thyme. However, I used Sherry rather than brandy. It turned out great! My 3yo “helped” and we had a wonderful afternoon making this soup and the cheese toasts. She loves to cook. We’re going to try another one of your recipes this coming weekend.


  • Jim

    Could have put vegetarian alternatives ingredients.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Jim! Emma here, managing editor. I’d suggest swapping the beef broth for vegetable broth or stock, preferably homemade since it will have a more robust flavor. With that swap, this recipe is vegetarian. Enjoy!

  • Lisa Eddy

    I could not find my original recipe but I knew what all of the ingredients were. This was close to my recipe , so I gave it a try. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS.


  • Jen

    Amazing! My friends all said it was better than a restaurant!


  • Jen

    This is an AMAZING soup! All my friends said it was better than a restaurant French Onion! I agree!

  • Carolyn

    Lovely, the best I have ever tasted. I added half a cup of white wine.


  • Caroline

    I just made this soup and I absolutely love it! I haven’t made a French onion soup in a while this recipe is bang on! I didn’t use any alcohol but added Worchester Sauce and it was so amazing


  • Jaime

    Adding the brandy sure helped. Made it with dry white but next time will try vermouth for kicks.
    Good stuff


  • Merrill

    This French onion soup was fabulous. I am a French onion soup devotee. I try it wherever I find it on a menu, and I’m usually disappointed. Most times I find it too salty or not rich enough in flavor. I followed the recipe to the letter, but only had 4 cups of beef broth so I used 4 cups of chicken broth and I loved the combination. I also forgot to add the vermouth, but the soup was perfect as is. I used your seasonings and even learned how to cut the onions correctly, so thank you for that as well. We had friends over and everyone loved the soup and it was so filling, that was our dinner that night and a few nights later my husband and I just had the soup with its accoutrements and we were happily satisfied. This recipe is a winner, thank you.


  • Louise

    I made this for company and everyone liked it. Easier than I thought it’d be.


  • Staci

    I did not like it:/ my son who absolutely loves French onion soup did not like I was so bummed we followed the instructions to the T and just beyond sweet so disappoonted

  • Popsicle

    It might be blasphemous, but when I prepare french onion soup, instead of using a toasted baguette I stretch puff pastry dough over soup filled ramekins (ensuring the dough does not dip into the soup) and bake in the oven with cheese on top. I used this recipe to make my variation and it was splendid.

  • Jennifer

    I liked it, but thought it was a bit sweet. I used sweet onions to begin with (they were what I had, and had intended to make onion soup when I found your recipe.) I may omit the sugar next time I make it

  • Sandy

    I made this soup but left out the vermouth and thyme. I added 1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. It was to die for.

  • Michele

    I made this for me Family and it was just delicious and would make it again in a heart beat. I used two extra onions and the vermouth was a nice change from heavy wines. I did not serve until the next day as I wanted the flavors to muse and they sure did. Do not think you need more thyme one teaspoon is enough so don’t add a dash more. I would cut back to 1/2 teas sugar as my Vidalias are sweet enough. With so many recipes for onion soup my search has ended. Bravo 5 stars


  • Patricia

    I have made French Onion soup without a recipe for years and it has always been good, but this recipe elevated the flavor profiles to a new level! The only adjustments I made were to use mushroom stock and then add in ‘better than bouillon’ beef flavor and dried chives, I also substituted the vermouth for a dry rose which I think added a nice and subtle sweetness to the onion. Bravo!


  • Lani

    This was awful. Had to throw it out. I think it was the vermouth. It was so bitter. I have made French onion soup numerous times and have always loved it, but never used vermouth. Unfortunately, I did not save those recipes. Tried this one due to the reviews. Will not make again. I even had my hubby taste to see if it was just me. He thought the vermouth may have something to do with it as well. After all, it is a bitter in the alcohol world.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Lani, that’s weird! What brand of vermouth are you using? My “extra dry” vermouth isn’t remotely bitter, tastes more like a flavorful dry white wine.

    • Sarah

      You must’ve done something wrong . This recipe was spot on perfection.

  • Barbara

    I love French onion soup! I never made it for some reason but now with Pintrest I’m trying lots of recipes. This one is simmering now and taste wonderful. Thanks for an easy recipe. Instructions for making the soup and cutting and caramelizing the onions was great with the step by step instructions. A new can-do soup. I’ll freeze my own now for times when I want it. Blessings!!!

  • Marie

    I made this tonight … letting the onions slowly cook and the house fill with the smell of onion and garlic …. which to any Italian is like catnip, LOL. I used Provolone cheese cause of mild taste. Made a side salad with home made honey mustard dressing …. yummy. Thank you ☺️

  • Diana F

    I just made this and it is delicious!!! I substituted the alcohol with Worcestershire sauce and did not add thyme.

  • Kerry Abbott

    I’m simmering the French Onion Soup right now. I took a taste, and it was excellent!

    We have fresh Texas 1015 and Candy Onions from our garden. The only changes I made were, I used sherry instead of vermouth, left out the bay leaf because I didn’t have any, and used provolone because my husband doesn’t like gruyere. Awesome!

  • Nikki Froude

    Use this recipe all the time! Just finished making again. The only change I make is red wine for deglazing. I use swiss cheese on top. Yummy, can’t wait for supper withfriends!

  • Kristina

    I made this as I’m a huge fan of French onion soup. I thought the directions were excellent and the recipe was easy to make. Instead of vermouth I used a dry Chardonnay. Excellent recipe and my family loved it!

  • Ann Seaton

    Walla walla onions fresh out of our garden, made this soup over the edge delicious! I used Pinot Grigio for deglazing, ommited the bay leaves, only because I’m out, and used 3 sprigs of fresh lemon thyme, pairing superbly with the Pinot! I did use Emmy, Gryere cheese, delicious. This recipe is going into my box, a definite SAVE! Thanks for sharing

  • Pipi

    Hello, I’m making this soup right now.we’ll have it for dinner with a great salad. I peeled and sliced about 8-9 good size onions last evening.( filled a gallon size zip lock bag about 2/3 full. Cooked them slow today for a bit over an hour. I made it as the recipe stated using 1/2 salted and 1/2 unsalted stock. I did add a spoon of “Better than bullion” I use it in lots of soups, and other dishes. It’s dark, onions are very sweet, and after ” several” tastings, it’s heavenly. The gruyere is wonderful, and the bowls are ready to fill. We always love this soup. Thankyou for this recipe. I know we’ll enjoy it.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Pipi, the seasoning in Better than Bouillon is really good, isn’t it? I like adding some along with my homemade stock sometimes because I don’t salt my homemade stock. So glad you like the soup!

  • William Pendleton

    Hello! My mother and I made this recipe for our family including our in-laws from Morocco. My mother in-law lived in Paris for decades after going to school there. Our in-laws eat primarily French and Moroccan food and this is one of their favorite comfort foods. Long story short this recipe was a massive hit, with my mother in-law saying this was one of the best bowls of French Onion Soup she had ever had. Needless to say there wasn’t a drop left. Thanks so much for a great and easy to follow recipe!

    • Maria

      William did you usé Vermouth or the white wine. I like your in-laws are very pick about my french onion soup. Best one at a little cafe on my way up to Montmartre in Paris.

  • Ashley

    Oh my goodness! this was terrible. My house smells horrible. the gruyere cheese (Which I have never used before) smells rotten. I was so angry with the taste of the broth and the smell of the cheese that I just stopped cooking and am ordering in food now. I never just STOP cooking a recipe in the middle of it. This was terrible.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Ashley, I’m so sorry you didn’t like the recipe. Sounds like you are not a fan of the flavor of Gruyere cheese, which is an essential ingredient in classic French Onion Soup. Regarding the broth, I have found that if you are using boxed or canned broth, that the taste and quality of different brands varies highly. I once bought several brands and tasted them all. Threw out most of them. I would recommend getting a hold of “Better than Bouillon” brand broth paste. You mix it with water to make the broth. That brand is consistently good.

      • Suzanne

        It is important to use a high quality Gruyere and the best onions. I found some organic Walla Walla sweet onions at our co-op, one onion alone is close to 3 pounds! They are gorgeous, can’t wait to make this soup.

    • Gerald

      Oh dear Ashley.

    • Karine Clark

      I made this and everyone that tried it absolutely loved it! You must have done something wrong because to me this tasted better than any I’ve tried at restaurants. I didnt use the cheese it says to use, I used either Swiss or provolone I don’t remmeber. The broth by itself to save some calories was absolutely fantastic.


    • Marie L

      Ashley: I would suggest that next time you come across a cheese you have never had before is to buy it smell it and try it before you cook with it.

      • Sandra

        Good advice

  • Karen Wall

    This was excellent. We had beef broth leftover from cooking a chuck roast in a crock pot so the base was really flavorful. Made two changes: used sherry instead of vermouth and used just a pinch of dried thyme. The onions came out so sweet and it really wasn’t much work.
    We don’t have oven proof bowls so the technique of cooking the cheesy toast in the oven worked really well. I will make this again (and again and again).

  • Marz

    Thank you for a great recipe. I made this today & it was delicious! I did reduce the dried thyme to 1/2 tsp and that was plenty as I’m not a huge fan. I also used store bought College Inn Beef Broth. It came out wonderfully.

  • Angela

    Absolutely delicious!! Loved the instructions with pictures and video instructions. The only substitute I used was Sherry because that is what I had on hand. We all had second helpings!!

  • Kirzania

    Oh, Elise. You never fail to disappoint me! Kind of thinking on it now, I do think the amount of thyme in this could be halved. But I do like thyme, so … Eh, on the fence about it. However, the rest of it… oh my, I used your beef stock recipe with the bones leftover from our standing rib roast. The stock makes the soup, folks. It really does. My husband demolished two bowls before I could blink. I’m looking forward to having the remains at lunch tomorrow.

  • jill Measley

    Your explanation for caramelizing the onions was helpful but using thyme was a horrible mistake. I only used 1/4tsp and could not stand the smell or thereafter the taste. I will try making this again but never will I use thyme. Sorry but I need to be honest

  • Naida

    I made this recipe tonight and it was a hit! Followed everything to a T except I used veggie broth instead of beef and omitted the vermouth. I also added a dash of Worcestershire sauce! Simply delicious! Will be making this again for sure. :-)

    • Elise Bauer

      I’m so glad you liked it Naida!

    • Darcy

      So you didn’t follow everything to a T

  • Liz P

    So yummy, thank you. I think the finished product depends on the quality of the stock.

  • Michele Cabot

    I will definitely make this recipe again. Very tasty! I used all beef stock and it was a nice color.

  • Mike Buxton

    I followed these directions with all ingredients I used 2 teaspoons of dry thyme. The thyme taste is over bearing what can I add to reduce the taste of the thyme?

    • Elise Bauer

      At this point, not much. You can try replacing some of the broth with plain beef stock.

  • Leslie Booth

    Elise, this is truly a great tasting French onion soup. The only thing I would have liked is that it was a darker brown, Perhaps I did not carmelize my onions long enough, but it went right by the directions. Then maybe I should have altered the beef stock to 6 cups and the chicken stock to 2 cups???

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Leslie, I think using a darker stock to begin with will make your soup darker.

  • m

    That soup was easy to make and truly delicious. I made it with large white onions and campbells consomme broth

  • simplicity jones

    VIDALIA ONIONS when available are great for r. onion soup and they give it a fantastic flavor and you can eliminate the sugar.A top shelf, soft mozzerella perfectly browned over the onion soup is also a different and in my opinion , better way of finishing this soup.

  • MamaHan

    Ever since my husband ordered French onion soup for our kids during our last vacation, I’ve been wanting to make some from scratch since the usual ones are SO very salty. Oh my goodness, I made this last night and it was HEAVENLY! :) Thanks for the very detailed instructions for times and suggestions for things like Better than Bouillon, Elise. I am very happy with the results and will definitely be making this again for a special occasion.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi MamaHan, I’m so glad you liked it! It’s one of my favorite comfort soups.

  • Amy R.

    This is a delicious soup I’ve been making for years. My secret–add champagne instead of wine. Such a beautiful flavor!

  • Shannon

    I really loved this…and then I made a little discovery! If you take a cup or two and puree it (I used an immersion blender) it makes a very delicious gravy! If you have a beef or pork dish requiring gravy…try it! It was the perfect consistency.

  • ChefJenWin

    I’ve been using my slow cooker to make large quantities of cartelized onions that I can then freeze and defrost as needed. Although you would miss the fond in using them here, it would “save” some time with this recipe.

  • Benji

    Thanks for the read Elise!
    I will definitively try this recipe the next time I get some onions. The last time I made French Onion soup, I did do things a little more differently. For one, I deglazed with white wine vinegar. The little hint of sour makes it taste different, but I love a hint of vinegar in my soups. I also used only yellow onions. In my taste testing, I found that yellow onions are sweeter than red onions when caramelized, which I believe should be the focus of the onions in the soup. If I had to use red onions, I would caramelize them a little longer to ensure they taste a little sweeter.

  • Bruce Bryant

    I also add brown sugar to my onions and I also use ONLY SWEET onions when I make this recipe. But basically it’s the only one I make! It is wonderful!

  • Linda

    I have a friend who uses scotch as the alcohol. I used to use port wine. A French chef I know says never use any alcohol. The caramelised onions are all you need. I think I’ll make some tonight. Always so good.

  • Polina

    Made this last night and it was delicious. Followed the recipe exactly and used beef broth from a box. This is a keeper for sure and will be a great recipe for entertaining.

  • Marcie

    Our family made this soup last night for Sunday dinner and it was fantastic. Everyone went back for seconds, it was that good!!! Do you by chance have the nutritional information based on the recipe listed?

  • Shannon

    I made this today and just finished my first bowl. Sooooooo looking forward to the next bowl. I bought a half-baked French Baguette (multigrain with sunflower seeds in the bread) and finished baking it at home. This is a great brothy soup!! I will live on this for the rest of the Winter and maybe part of the Spring!!

  • Dee Munson

    just saying the words onion soup puts me into a heavenly soup comma….. I want to make this but don’t want the vermouth or sherry or any liquor in it….. what shall I substitute???

  • Sulochana

    I made this it is wonderful

  • Glenn

    Made this Last night for the first time. My family and neighbors loved it. Will make it again and again.

  • Julia

    Can I make this without any alcohol?

    • Elise Bauer

      Yes, just deglaze the pan with stock. The flavor will not be as deep if you do not use the alcohol. I know some people add Worcestershire sauce to their French onion soup, so you might want to add half a teaspoon.

  • Stephanie


    Whenever I want a classic recipe, I know where to go. Another winner! Like many, I didn’t have any beef broth homemade, so I used store bought. I can only imagine the difference.

  • Madeline

    This is the best french onion soup I have ever tasted, It is outstanding! I’ve made it on several occasions for a number of people and everyone loves it. Great recipe, thanks.

  • Sarita

    This was a great way to use up hard old bread! *grin* Thanks for a delicious recipe.

  • Karen Boustany

    Elise ,It is a great recipe,i always thought that frech onion soup is somehing difficult to make,but it was quite the opposite,it is very easy,i used red wine instead of white wine,and added 3tbs. of worcestersshire sauce,gr8 taste,thank u.but i need to ask you, onion soup tastes better with white wine more than red wine?thanks

    When it comes to wine, it’s usually a matter of personal taste. I would experiment and see what wine works best for you. ~Elise

  • Moxie

    Made this last night using store bought beef stock (sorry, no time to create the real thing). Otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Tasted pretty nice, but even with pre-toasting, the bread was super soggy. Any tricks on avoid this?

    You might want to sprinkle some cheese on the soup before laying down the toasted bread and adding more cheese. The bread will get soggy, it’s lying in soup. But perhaps not as soggy if you put some more cheese between the soup and the bread. ~Elise

  • Jennifer

    The first time I ever had this soup in a French restaurant, I vowed to find the recipe and try it for myself (I love to cook!). Not only was this recipe easy, it tasted so delicious! Thank you!

  • Angela

    This was the best onion soup I ever had. I made is for Christmas appetizer last year, all my guests loved it and were fighting over taking home the leftover (quadrupled the recipe). I was told I had to make it again this year.

  • Linda Eglet

    This soup was excellant!!! Don’t know much about wine so I didn’t use it in the recipe …I thought this recipe ranked a 5 star…ranked up there with the best resturant soup!!!!

  • Trevor

    Kinda improvised a bit,I used tarragon with the onions instead of thyme as my girlfriend isnt very fond of it. It made for a bit of a sweeter flavor in the soup. I also boiled the onion and garlic ends/peels into the beef stock(I actually had some ends set into the freezer as well from other culinary exploits), as well as some rosemary, thyme and bay.

    Word of warning: Make sure that you carmelize the onions in a well ventilated room. Our whole place was full of onion smell, and it was so strong it even got my poor cats eyes watering.

    (Maybe on the grill? Little wood smoke would add a brand new flavor level to the soup. Also, maybe use rendered beef fat instead of olive oil,or maybe butter?)

  • paula powell

    made this soup per my son at Le Cordon Bleu and I have to say it was probably the best thing I have ever eaten, so much so that I am planning on making it again tomorrow as it will be cold and rainy! :)

  • sarah

    Just made this for my family and even though I didn’t caramelize the onions quite enough it was still delicious! Will make it again for sure

  • Bailey

    [quote] Can any other type of cheese be used for this recipe?

    Great question, I don’t know! I’ve always made French onion soup with Swiss cheese, usually Gruyere. ~Elise[/quote]

    I used mozzarella and it comes out wonderfully. Especially when you have lots of long strings lifting a spoonful out.. mmmm (most chain restaurants cheat and use mozzarella but it’s what I prefer.

    As with any recipe, customize it to your tastes, but if you go with mozzarella, i personally guarantee it will be great.

  • Lauren

    This recipe was fantastic! It was both my first time caramelizing onions and my first time making french onion soup, so needless to say I was a bit terrified waiting for my husband to get home and try it. It was delicious though! It was of course time intensive, but absolutely worth it. It tasted even better than I remember restaurant versions tasting. Fantastic recipe.

    We went with white wine (even cheap white wine like we had works) and no bay leaf. I used bullion and mozzarella because it was all I had on hand. I look forward to making it with better cheese and wine now that I know I’m capable!

  • Nicole

    I just made this soup for work. I work at a golf club, and we make different kinds of soup all the time. It turned out awesome! I’m not the head chef yet but with soups like this it won’t be long!

  • Debbie

    Made this for the first time and absolutely loved it! I will be using the left overs in a recipe that calls for French Onion soup and can’t wait to taste the difference from canned soup!


  • Alex

    wow this was SOOO good. Thank you so much for this perfect recipe.

  • Camille

    I just made this soup and instead of using dry white wine, I used red wine vinegar, because I love the flavor. I added an extra bay leaf and also a tablespoon of worcestershire sauce with a few drops of hot sauce. It came out DELICIOUS.

  • Robin

    Wow I made this last night. It was so good! I made it for my boyfriend and I. Let me tell you he is tougher to please than a New York city food critic. So I was nervous making it for him. but he told me it was the best he ever had. Thank you so much!

  • Cynthia Brown

    In terms of the French onion soup, I use a 1/4 cup of dry red wine and a 1/4 cup of dry sherry. Also, you are spot on that proper caramelization of the onions is key. I find that sweating them for at least 20 minutes before cranking up the heat helps a lot.

  • AJ

    So, I decided to make this soup as I’m sick and thought it would make a nice dinner. According to your instructions, the total cooking time on this should be about 1.25-1.5 hours. Well, nearly 3 hours in, the soup is still nit done and I am exhausted and frustrated. The onions took nearly 2 hours to caramelize, not 30-40 minutes. I would not have chosen to make this tonight if I had known how long it would take. I just hope it tastes good at this point.

  • jenn

    I am a huge French Onion Soup fan and I just made this and it was fantastic! It took me a long time to caramelize the onions; for the wine I used mostly dry white but added a little sherry; I used about 2/3 beef, 1/3 chicken stock because that’s what I had; I used fresh thyme sprigs and left out the bay leaf altogether because I didn’t have any; used greyere and a little parmesan as suggested. My boyfriend and I loved it, and I love this blog:)

  • Ellie

    I made this French Onion soup the other day for lunch, and it was fantastic! It had a unique sweetness that was unmatched by any French onion soup I’ve tried before, and it tasted marvelous!

    I’m lactose-intolerant so I skip the cheese whenever I have French onion soup, and sometimes it seems a bit lacking. This soup, however, was delicious even without the cheese. It was even better reheated the next day.

    I am making this again today for my parents (my mom in particular LOVES French onion soup) and I’m very sure they’ll both love it. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!

  • Casey Couch

    We made this for a twist on the classic Thanksgiving meal…it turned out wonderfully! The soup is delightfully rich and savory. I opted to skip the vermouth and stick with white wine, and I’m so glad we did. I used fresh thyme from my herb garden which my husband-to-be loved. Thanks for sharing this delightful recipe!

  • Helen

    Just made this soup for dinner. I was feeling a bit under the weather and had some onions about to go bad on me. Therefore, french onion soup it was….I used home-made beef stock, dry vermouth & emmenthaler swiss cheese. Absolute heaven!!! Better than at the restaurants since I control all the ingredients. Thanks for a great recipe.

  • Memo Berriochoa

    Turned out great! I made homemade broth and wow, my son and I enjoyed it with a great glass of Rioja wine! Thanks for the recipe. So easy a man can do it!

  • vicky

    I made this last night with vegetable broth and added a handfull of diverse dehidrated mushrooms to strengthen the broth and in my opinion it came out perfect. ♥ there’s a veggie version for everything ♥

  • Lan

    Made this last week to get through a huge sack of onions…it was delicious (even mid-June)!

  • Richardk

    Superb, sublime. Who knew french onion soup could be so good? When you’re raised on the version from a can or from a package, you have no idea how nice this can be. I didn’t serve it with the cheese as it was rich enough without. Just serve it will some nice bread for dipping and keep it simple.

  • Harshani Thebwana

    I don’t have individual cups to bake the soup…..instead of baking can I microwave it?

    You can microwave it, but the cheese will not get browned, only melted. ~Elise

  • Brandon Avery

    I just made this earlier. I did not follow the directions exactly. In fact I did it very differently… I thought, “O_O What frying pan holds 8 cups of water?” Well, mine didn’t… So I halved the ingredients. 3 onions, 4 cups of broth, and so on. Also, I made broth by mixing some vegetable bouillon with water. I’m a vegetarian, so I didn’t use beef broth as the recipe called for. I thought it tasted wonderful… The only thing it lacked was the bay leaf. My mom said we didn’t have any. Another mistake would be not halving the wine. I still used the 1/2 cup :P, it turned out fine, although it smelled a lot like wine before it was completely done cooking.

    I tasted some of those caramelized onions as they were cooking. I thought, “I could make this sometime as a snack… Mmmmmmmmm.”

    Overall, great recipe. I loved it.

  • Danny

    Fantastic recipe, and easy to follow. Bravo! Looking forward to making this a regular meal.

  • slly

    Hello, I’m a vegetarian and I substituted the beef/chicken broth with vegetable broth.

    I must say that despite obvious differences in the broth flavors, the vegetarian broth did well. The bay leaf and thyme were very good touches and made a big difference to the soup.

    The onions were rather sweet so I did not double the onions as the flavor was already pungent.

    Also, I added balsamic vinegar as i did not have white wine, 2 teaspoons. It isnt the best substitute but I have a preference for balsamic vinegar.

    overall, its a very good soup which i enjoyed very much. SO VEGETARIANS go ahead and make it!!

    Your recipe is wonderful!!!!! Thank you :)

  • Tammy

    Thank you, made a half-portion last night and it turned out great. Even got husb to help! Thank goodness for mandolines, it makes a quick job out of onion slicing. Looking forward to finishing the leftovers tomorrow night!

    • joseph schaefer

      good idea on the mandolins!

  • clymn

    I made the soup using beer instead of wine. I usually use red wine to compliment the beef stock. I also included the left over bone from grilled steaks we had 3 nights ago. instead of the individual bowls. We serve straight off the stove out of the pot. ( we are very informal) The beer added a certain earthiness to the dish. It reminds me of beef stew (pub style). Everyone loved it. the cheese melts from the heat of the dish.

  • Jean

    Elise, this looks like a perfect onion soup! If I had some good homemade beef stock on hand, I would be in the kitchen right now making it. I like to use the individual bowls. Serving it from the large casserole can get a little messy with all that melted Gruyere (but that can be kind of fun).

  • Aaron

    Great recipe, only change was I added a little olive oil to the bread and toasted it. It was wonderful.

  • nikki

    This soup was amazingly easy to make and so delicious. My entire family loved it!

  • Jill

    Is there a way to make this vegetarian?

    You can use vegetable stock, but truly it will not taste the same. If you do so I would double up on the caramelized onions, you’ll need it for the flavor. ~Elise

  • Janiva

    I just finished making this and I have to say it is absolutely delicious!!!! I had to use both chix and beef broth because I didn’t have enough beef broth but I can’t imagine it being any better!

  • Andie

    I made this soup over the weekend using 4 cups chicken broth and 4 cups beef. (It’s all I had in the pantry). Elise, For the cheese I used grated swiss and then sliced havarti over that. It was fantastic! I will definitely make this again.

  • Steve P.

    Just used this recipe as a starting point for dinner. I only used beef stock, and used cabernet sauvignon rather than vermouth (personal preference). I’d never made French onion soup, so am pleased to report excellent results! Yes, caramelizing the onions is time intensive, but you will be repaid for your patience.

  • Diep

    Hi Elise,

    My kids and my husband loved your recipe. We all enjoyed the soup, especially when I could control the salt input! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe to everyone!

    I wish you and your family a very happy and healthy New Year!

    Thank you Diep, I’m so glad you liked it. A happy New Year to you too! ~Elise

  • Larry

    I too made this soup and this recipe is terrific. The dry, white wine really gives it a nice flavor.

  • Rachel

    Umm I was wondering if you can use fish stock instead of beef or chicken? :D

    Something tells me that wouldn’t be particularly appetizing with this soup. But if you try it, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  • Catherine

    Can dry sherry be substituted for the vermouth or dry white wine? Or would the results be too sweet?

    I think it’s really up to your taste. Try a little with it and see if you like it. ~Elise

  • Peter

    Just made this morning, have a little bit of the flu and once I had this French onion soup I felt a lot better. Although I substituted the toast with garlic parmesan croutons from costco and used gouda cheese instead of gruyere, it was fabulous. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Gayane

    Can any other type of cheese be used for this recipe?

    Great question, I don’t know! I’ve always made French onion soup with Swiss cheese, usually Gruyere. ~Elise

  • Cynthia Cloughly

    Tried this recipe last night–it was AWESOME! Everybody RAVED!


  • charles sinchuk

    Made this today for the first time. It was amazing! I will be making this for years to come. What I like the best, is that it doesn’t have the salt content that you normally get in restaurants.

    • Leslie Booth

      Exactly, just made this and loved that it was not overly salty. Went well with our salad!

  • OneSmartCookie

    This was so good and really easy. I have made other recipes for onion soup but this beats them all. I always read comments to see if anyone has added or omitted anything, but it’s perfect the way it is. Not much of a bay leaf fan, but I put a little dried in it and it was fantastic.
    The last recipe I used took 2 days. This reduced down in a couple of hours. Note:
    If you want to serve this to more than 2 people, double or triple the recipe, you will not be sorry!
    Toast the bread to make it like croutons, that’s the only thing I’d do differently

  • Alex

    Word of caution: I bought cheap “extra-dry” vermouth for this recipe, and I wish I had tasted it before I used it. It was very very sweet, almost like white grape juice. It threw off the balance of the soup, which was disappointing since I went through the trouble of making beef stock from scratch. If you don’t normally cook with vermouth, or don’t want to buy a more expensive bottle, it’s probably smarter to stick with a regular dry white wine.

  • kategiasson

    I used smoked gruyere cheese, it gives the soup a strong flavor, it’s very tasty!

  • fern

    I made this soup for Christmas dinner, 12 people, it was a huge hit and equally scrummy the next day when we were sober!

  • JJ

    This recipe is fantastic! I used chicken stock instead of beef as that’s all I had; I also put the entire finished mixture into my blender for a smooth and creamy soup. Dee-lish!

  • Teresa

    Made this last night, halving the recipe for two, and using sweet onions instead of red onions. Finished off the leftovers for lunch today. mmm. It was wonderful, as are all the recipes I’ve tried on this blog. Thanks, Elise!

  • Theresa Bruni

    French onion soups has long been my 86 year old mother’s favorite lunch…needless to say, she ‘s eaten a LOT of different soups all over the world and her comment was this, “What did you do differently? This is far and above the best I’ve ever had…I believe it was carmelizing the onions and the garlic…and the thyme and bay leaf not found in other recipes. Bon Apetit!


    Very cold day in Northern Wisconsin today. My friends and I did things outside. Came in and wife had made this soup. It was great, everyone loved it.

  • Steve Duran

    Very good!! Carmelizing the onions is key with any onion soup recipe, I will make this for years to come. Thanks Steve

  • click

    I made this last night and was very happy with the results! This soup is sweet and rich. By the end of the bowl I was ready for bed (of course, a glass of novello helped).

    I’d always thought French Onion Soup was fancy because of the presentation, but it was surprisingly easy. I’ll be making this again! Although, I’ll probably make less, and serve it as a starter so as not to put my guests into a food coma.

    If you’ve got the time, I’d recommend starting at 10 AM and making a beef broth from scratch. The house will smell wonderful all day!