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Classic French Onion Soup

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The first time I had French onion soup, I think Jason and I were dating maybe a little over a year. The reason why I never had it before was because I used to have an aversion to onions. I never liked them until college and even then, I couldn’t fathom drinking an entire soup made from onions. I know, it’s crazy. A food blogger that used to not like onions – how did I cook?! Well, I’d cook with them, I just would pick them out :) and of course, in French onion soup, you can’t really pick out the onions.

So by the time Jason and I went to this nice French restaurant for dinner, I had grown to love onions and couldn’t get enough of them. We each ordered a bowl of French onion soup (me having it for the first time) and I don’t think I’ve been so impressed with soup in my entire life. I loved the cheesy topping but what I loved most was the sweet caramelized onion flavor that perfumed the entire soup. It was so comforting. I still dream about that soup. We haven’t been back to that restaurant in a while but every time we pass it, I think of their incredible French onion soup.

I figured I’d give it a shot and make it at home. It was one of those weekends that was forecasted to be a brutal chill so I thought it’d be the perfect soup to have throughout the weekend.

I just loved cooking this. The sweet onion smell enveloped my entire house. It’s such a great scent!! I will say that making this soup is a labor of love because of how much time you invest in caramelizing the onions, but the taste it outstanding. If you’re in a rush and can’t dedicate two hours to this soup, then don’t make it. Rushing this won’t give you the results (and don’t be knocking at my door saying it doesn’t taste good!) so save it for another day if you’re in a hurry. Also, this is actually a little bit different than your typical French onion soup as it doesn’t have beef stock in it. It’s definitely not one bit missed in here. Don’t add it, you may compromise the entire soup if you change it up. Vegetarians and meat lovers can adore this soup together!

Hope everyone has a warm & relaxing weekend :)

Classic French Onion Soup

Making this Classic French Onion Soup truly is a labor of love but it's so worth it for this comfort soup!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Julie Chiou
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  • 3 pounds yellow onions, cut into 1/8-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 crusty baguette
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.



  • Melt butter in a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, salt and sugar and cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Take the cover off and cook, stirring frequently, the onions for 90 minutes. Yes, 90 minutes. You should achieve a golden brown color to the onions.
  • At this point, stir every 5 minutes and add a tbsp. of water at a time to loosen up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Continue doing this for another 30 minutes until the onions are even darker brown.
  • Add the flour and stir for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the 8 cups of water and thyme and bring to a boil. Then add the white wine then let simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt, to taste.
  • In the meantime, turn on the broiler in your oven and adjust the rack to the upper middle position. Slice your baguette into 3/4 inch thick slices.
  • Carefully broil the baguettes for 1-2 minutes on each side (or until they achieve a light brown crisp color - watch them carefully so they don't burn). Remove from oven and set aside.
  • At this point you can start ladling in your soup into oven-safe bowls. Place a slice of baguette on top and a large slice of gruyere cheese on top of the baguette slice. Place the bowls carefully into the oven under the broiler and broil until cheese has melted and is bubbly and slightly brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Be very careful with the bowl and make sure to not touch it while eating your soup!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes


Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 424 kcal | Carbohydrates: 44 g | Protein: 18 g | Fat: 20 g | Saturated Fat: 11 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 57 mg | Sodium: 602 mg | Potassium: 419 mg | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 10 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Keyword: soup recipe
Recipe Rating


Tuesday 14th of October 2014

Hi i need to ask how many onions i should use? not familiar with measuring them in pounds..can u give me an estimate please, for example 4-5 medium onions? thanks so much! sorry if my question sounds too dumb.


Tuesday 14th of October 2014

Hmm, I would think about 7-8 medium onions.

ashley - baker by nature

Monday 25th of February 2013

I could happily eat this soup every day of my life!


Monday 8th of May 2017

i will try it.

Tina | My Life as a Mrs

Sunday 24th of February 2013

I am OBSESSED with French Onion soup! Totally intrigued to try this vegetarian version!!!

Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats

Sunday 24th of February 2013

Ive never had french onion soup before..this is beautiful..I really hope I find the time to make it before 'soup season' is over this year! Any tips though on crying eyes?! :)

[email protected] pineapple and coconut

Saturday 23rd of February 2013

I made French onion soup for my husband once. He loves it so I braved the chopping of all those onions just for him. My eyes were stinging so bad that I actually wore my snowboarding goggles to be able to get through it. He loved the soup - so it was worth my eyes burning and mascara smearing. Your soup looks great!