Skip to Content

Easy Homemade French Onion Soup

This Easy Homemade French Onion Soup is full of sweet and delicious caramelized onions in a rich, flavorful broth topped with toasted bread and lots of melted cheese. It’s so simple to make this restaurant classic right in your own kitchen!

I’m celebrating today because this is my 100th recipe post! I’d like to take a quick moment to say thank you so much to all of my readers, subscribers, and followers for your awesome support (#grateful)!

It makes me so darn happy that you all are trying and enjoying my recipes, and you inspire me each and every day to make this blog the absolute best it can be and to keep the recipes coming!

Okay, now on to the real reason you came here…the French Onion Soup!

From the moment I had my first spoonful of this dreamy soup as a kid, I was in love. Sure, it was the ton of melted, gooey cheese and bread on top that reeled me in, but it was the sweet, soft caramelized onions and super flavorful broth that kept me hooked. For ever and ever. Amen.

For so many years, I only ever ate this amazingly delicious soup when I went out to eat – which wasn’t a whole lot – so it was always a “special occasion” dish that was such a special treat whenever I was able to get it!

One day, my mom and I decided we were going to learn how to make French onion soup at home so we could have it whenever we wanted. Plus, sometimes it can be really hit or miss when ordering it out (too salty, flavorless, not enough cheese).

We wanted a winner that tasted awesome every single time!

bowl of easy homemade french onion soup with a spoon in it

We were definitely a little intimidated at first because we figured making French onion soup had to be difficult, but we knew it would be so worth it if we could get it right.

Well, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that it was actually really easy to make! All you need is a little patience to cook the onions low and slow until they are nicely caramelized, and then the soup comes together pretty quickly after that.

So we made several batches of soup until we got it just the way we wanted it (and thoroughly enjoyed taste-testing each and every one!). This is the recipe we ended up with, and it’s the one I’ve been making ever since.

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  • Butter
  • Onions (any kind – I use a combination of white or yellow and red)
  • Garlic
  • All-purpose flour
  • Dry sherry or white wine (like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
  • Beef stock or broth
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crusty bread (such as Ciabatta or a French baguette)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Gruyere cheese

HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE EASY HOMEMADE FRENCH ONION SOUP:

three images showing steps to make easy homemade french onion soup
three images showing steps to make easy homemade french onion soup
three images showing steps to make easy homemade french onion soup
three images showing how to make easy homemade french onion soup
three images showing how to make easy homemade french onion soup

TIPS & TIDBITS:

  • You can use any type of onions. Just remember that they will become sweeter as they caramelize, so sweeter onions like red or Vidalias will give you a sweeter soup than if you use white or yellow onions. I like using a combination of white or yellow along with red onions for a nice balance.
  • You must caramelize the onions low and slow, stirring often, until they are golden brown (not too dark), sweet, and delicious. This will take a good 30 to 45 minutes. Don’t try to rush it by cranking up the heat or by cutting down on the cooking time. You will either get burnt onions or onions that do not have that sweet, mellow flavor.
    • That being said, you can turn up the heat just a little bit to get them going if low on your stove is super low and things aren’t really moving along, but this step just takes a while if you want good results!
  • I like to use dry sherry in my soup, but you could also use a white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. In my opinion, Chardonnay does not work at all in this soup, and I don’t recommend it. And please use a sherry or wine that you enjoy drinking. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just needs to taste good.
  • I prefer using beef stock over broth because I think the flavor is richer and deeper, but beef broth works fine too, and I have used it many times with excellent results. Homemade stock is always best if you have it. If not, just use a brand that you really like, which is exactly what I do most of the time.
  • If you don’t have oven-safe bowls that can go under the broiler, no worries! Just skip that step and, instead, toast the bread, place it on a baking sheet, top it the with the cheese, and broil until the cheese is melted. Then just put the cheesy bread on top of your soup.
  • Traditionally, French onion soup uses only Gruyere cheese, but I really like the gooeyness and pull of mozzarella, so I use both. Plus, Gruyere can be quite expensive, and the mozzarella helps to stretch it out. You could also use Swiss cheese instead of Gruyere.
spoonful of french onion soup being pulled out of the bowl with stretchy cheese pull

Oh, and you can make the soup ahead of time too (without the bread and cheese, of course – save that for when you are ready to serve). You can either refrigerate it for a few days or, for longer storage, freeze it for up to 3 months. Reheat and then add the bread and cheese as directed.

So don’t wait to go out to eat to enjoy some French onion soup. Making it at home is super simple and, honestly, I’d rather have this homemade version any day. It’s that good!

I hope you try this recipe for Easy Homemade French Onion Soup and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

michelle signature

image that states if you make this recipe, please leave a star rating and comment below, thanks

Easy Homemade French Onion Soup

This Easy Homemade French Onion Soup is full of sweet and delicious caramelized onions in a rich, flavorful broth topped with toasted bread and lots of melted cheese. It's so simple to make this restaurant classic right in your own kitchen!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Save Rate & Comment
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Estimated Calories: 426

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups thinly sliced (⅛ to ¼ inch max) onions, any kind (see note below)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup dry sherry or white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 4 cups beef stock or broth
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 to 8 slices crusty bread (such as ciabatta or a French baguette), use 1 to 2 slices per bowl depending on the size of the bread
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the thinly sliced onions; cook, uncovered, stirring often, for 30 to 45 minutes or until the onions are soft and caramelized (nicely golden brown – they shouldn't be very dark).
    This step needs to be done low and slow! Don't try to speed up the process by cranking up the heat, as you will burn your onions rather than caramelize them. That being said, you can turn up the heat just a little bit to get them going if low on your stove is super low and things aren't really moving along, but this step just takes a while if you want good results!
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring for one minute.
  • Add the sherry (or wine) and deglaze the pan (scrape any browned bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon). Simmer until the wine has mostly evaporated.
  • Add the flour and cook, stirring, for one minute.
  • Add the beef stock (or broth) and thyme; stir to combine. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Preheat the broiler. Position the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Toast the bread slices. You can do this in the toaster or, since you will be using the broiler in the next step, under the broiler.
  • Place 4 oven-safe bowls (make sure they can be put under the broiler) on a large baking sheet. Ladle the soup into the bowls.
  • Top each bowl with 1 or 2 slices of bread, depending on the size of your bread (if your pieces are large, cut them to fit the bowl if you need to).
  • Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons of mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of Gruyere cheese.
  • Broil until the cheese is melted. ENJOY!

Notes

  • You can use any type of onions. Just remember that they will become sweeter as they caramelize, so sweeter onions like red or Vidalias will give you a sweeter soup than if you use white or yellow onions. I like using a combination of white or yellow along with red onions for a nice balance.
  • If you use white wine instead of dry sherry, I do not recommend using Chardonnay, as it does not work well in this recipe (in my opinion).
  • I prefer to use beef stock for a richer, deeper flavor, but I have also used beef broth with excellent results. 
  • You could use Swiss cheese instead of Gruyere.
  • If you don’t have oven-safe bowls that can go under the broiler, skip that step and, instead, toast the bread, place it on a baking sheet, top with the cheese, and broil until the cheese melts. Then just put the cheesy toasts on top of the soup. 
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Post updated on 2/10/21 (updated some of the images).

Recipe Rating




Lanell Coppi

Sunday 22nd of January 2023

I don’t usually leave comments…but! This soup was amazing! It doesn’t even need the bread and cheese. It’s wonderful on it’s own. Highly, highly recommended! I made 1 change. I added a tablespoon of sugar as the onions began to brown.

Michelle

Sunday 22nd of January 2023

Thank you, Lanell! I'm so happy you enjoyed the soup, and I appreciate you taking the time to comment and rate the recipe!

Door Step

Thursday 15th of July 2021

Thank you for this lovely and awesome post. Really enjoyed reading it

Betty

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

I loved this recipe. I will be making it again. I only had red wine so that is what I used. I also added a couple of sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf, which I had on hand. This is the recipe I have been looking for.

Michelle

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

Hi, Betty! I'm so glad you found this recipe and loved it!! Love your additions of thyme and bay leaf...I'll have to try that! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe!

Betty

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

Loved this recipe! I will definitely be making it again.

Michelle

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

Thank you so much, Betty!

Susan

Tuesday 17th of November 2020

Been looking for onion soup recipe This looks great. Going to make tomorrow. Thank you.

Michelle

Tuesday 17th of November 2020

Hey, Susan! I'm so glad you're going to give the onion soup a try. Please come back and let me know how you liked it!