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French Onion Soup Recipe

A few simple ingredients — pretty much just onions, broth, cheese, and bread — combine to make this tasty French onion soup recipe.

For more ideas, check out all our soup recipes.

A bowl of French onion soup with the words "French Onion Soup" digitally written on top.

French Onion Soup is one of those fancy items that you decide you can only order at a restaurant because it’s too much work to make it at home.

Until the first time you make it at home and you realize it’s actually not that bad.

And then you make it all the time, eventually forgetting that you ever thought it was at “order out only” item.

French Onion Soup is a little bit more involved than other soups because once it’s done, you have to put it back the oven to melt the cheese. But trust me, that’s such a quick and simple extra step. It shouldn’t deter you from making this incredible soup recipe.

Two bowls of soup and a soup pitcher with the words "10+ Super Soup Recipes to make this fall" digitally written on top.

This is one of our favorite soup recipes, but it’s not the only one we make when it’s cold out. For more, check out our list of Super Soup Recipes.

French Onion Soup Recipe

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French Onion Soup Ingredients:

How To Make French Onion Soup:

Melted butter in a Dutch oven.

Melt half the butter in a Dutch oven until it browns.

Sliced onions in a Dutch oven.

Slice the onions and add them to the butter. Cook about thirty minutes until the onions are caramelized.

Caramelized onions in a Dutch oven.

If your butter is completely gone and the onions are still white or translucent, add the rest of the butter in 1 tablespoon increments until the onions are done.

Don’t rush this step. The majority of the flavor of French onion soup comes from the onions, so you want to get as much flavor out of them as possible.

Liquid being poured into a Dutch oven.

Stir in the Worcestershire sauce.

French Onion Soup in a Dutch oven.

Add the beef broth and seasoning to the Dutch oven. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat, put on the lid, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Don’t forget to put the lid on when the soup is simmering. This will keep the majority of the liquid in the Dutch oven. If you simmer without a lid, much of your liquid will evaporate and you won’t be left with much soup.

French Onion Soup in a bowl.

Ladle the soup into oven safe bowls. This recipe will make six bowls worth.

Two slices of bread and French Onion Soup in a bowl.

Toast two slices of French bread, then put them on top of the soup in the bowl.

Cheese in a bowl.

Slice 1.5 pieces of both Provolone and Swiss cheese into long strips. Alternate them over the top of the French bread.

Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Cheese topped French Onion Soup in the oven.

Place the bowls on top of a pizza stone (if you don’t have one, a cookie sheet works as well).

Broil on high, about two minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Carefully remove the bowls from the oven and serve warm.

French Onion Soup in a bowl.

French Onion Soup: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to use a Dutch oven?

I love our Dutch oven. I got it as a birthday gift a few years ago and I’ve used it every time I’ve made soup since. Before we had it, I used to use a large stock pot to make soup.

If you don’t have a Dutch oven and you only have a stock pot, that’s fine. You can use it.

The thing about the Dutch oven is it holds heat really well and it good as dispersing the heat evenly. So things cook a little bit more consistently in it than in a different pot.

In the case of this French Onion Soup, the butter browns and doesn’t burn. The onions also cook a little quicker too.

So, if you’re using a stock pot, just keep an eye on your butter so it doesn’t burn. And add some additional time when you’re cooking the onions to make sure they caramelize.

Which onions are best for French Onion Soup?

Traditionally, yellow onions are used in French Onion Soup. But whatever onions you have in your kitchen are what you should use. Seriously. They’ll all work.

But, with that being said, our onion of choice are yellow onions. They’re sweet and lack the bitterness that some onions have. When you cook them down, you release a really rich but sweet flavor. And that flavor holds up to the deep flavor of beef broth.

You’re not getting a bitter flavor like you would from a red onion.

What kind of bowl do you use for French Onion Soup?

From everything I can gather, French Onion Soup is traditionally served in lion head bowls. These are deep bowls with a base that props them above the table. Lion head bowls often have handles to help bring the soup from the counter to the table.

I’m not fancy, so I don’t have these fancy bowls. And if you don’t, that’s okay. Just serve your French Onion Soup in oven safe bowls.

Take your bowl and turn it over. Generally, bowls that are oven safe will have those words stamped on the bottom. If yours don’t say that, don’t put them in the oven. They may not be able to be heated and will burst in the oven.

How long can you store French Onion Soup?

French Onion Soup will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Make sure to let the French Onion Soup cool completely before packing. It’s best to store any leftover French Onion Soup in individual containers, making it easy for reheating.

Can you freeze French Onion Soup?

If you won’t be eating the soup in three days, you should freeze it. You can freeze French Onion Soup for up to three months.

After the soup has cooled completely, put it in freezer-safe containers or bags. Label with the date the soup was made and store them in the freezer.

You’ll want to defrost the soup in the fridge overnight before reheating.

How do you reheat French Onion Soup?

The easiest way of reheating French Onion Soup is to microwave it for three minutes, making sure to stop and stir after 90 seconds.

Transfer the hot soup to an oven safe bowl.

Top with toasted bread and cheese, then broil for two minutes until the cheese it melted.

Grilled asparagus on a tray.

What To Serve With French Onion Soup:

A simple salad would be perfect to serve with French Onion Soup. But, if you’re looking for a fancier side dish to go with your fancy soup, a few of our favorites are:

Yield: 6 Servings

French Onion Soup

A few simple ingredients -- pretty much just onions, broth, cheese, and bread -- combine to make this tasty French onion soup.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 to 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 large onions
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • French bread (2 pieces per bowl)
  • Sliced Provolone cheese (1.5 pieces per bowl)
  • Sliced Swiss cheese (1.5 pieces per bowl)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (1 tablespoon per bowl)

Instructions

  1. Melt half the butter in a Dutch oven until it browns.
  2. Slice the onions and add them to the butter. Cook about thirty minutes until the onions are caramelized. If your butter is completely gone and the onions are still white or translucent, add the rest of the butter in 1 tablespoon increments until the onions are done.
  3. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Add the beef broth and seasoning to the Dutch oven. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat, put the lid on, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Ladle the soup into oven safe bowls. This recipe will make six bowls worth.
  6. Toast two slices of French bread, then put them on top of the soup in the bowl.
  7. Slice 1.5 pieces of both Provolone and Swiss cheese into long strips. Alternate them over the top of the French bread.
  8. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.
  9. Place the bowls on top of a pizza stone (if you don’t have one, a cookie sheet works as well).
  10. Broil on high, about two minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  11. Carefully remove the bowls from the oven and serve warm.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 301Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 61mgSodium 1413mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 11g

Have you made this French Onion Soup recipe? Let us know in the comments.

Rosie

Sunday 6th of March 2016

oh man, I'd love to have this delish French onion soup. I love the combination of cheeses, and it looks great. I must try this!

Laurie

Thursday 26th of February 2015

Yum! Your recipe looks wonderful! Thank you for sharing on the Brag About It link party this week!

Cydnee

Monday 23rd of February 2015

I love French Onion Soup. Your recipe looks delicious. Thank you very much for joining in the celebration of #purebloglove, we enjoy having you each week. I hope to see you on Thursday at 8PM, EST through Sunday night. ~Cydnee

[email protected] Freshman Cook

Friday 20th of February 2015

What a great recipe! French Onion is my favorite soup, and I love the mix of provolone and swiss! It looks great!

Erica Lea | Buttered Side Up

Thursday 19th of February 2015

I've always wanted to make French onion soup, but the hubby doesn't care for onions AT ALL. Maybe for a girls' party sometime...Yours looks yummy!

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