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Traditional French Onion Soup Recipe

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Traditional French Onion Soup is a timeless testament to simple yet sublime flavors. This recipe blends together fresh thyme, sauteed onions, and more for a mouthwatering soup that is perfect as a meal or side on any chilly day.

traditional french onion soup recipe

Everything About This French Onion Soup Recipe

French onion soup originated centuries ago in the Midevil times in Parisian markets where onions were abundant and cheese was a prized commodity, this soup has evolved into an iconic dish celebrated worldwide.

Its essence lies in slow-cooked caramelized onions, layered with a hearty beef broth, and topped with crusty bread and melted cheese—a symphony of textures and tastes that warms the soul on a chilly evening.

traditional french onion soup recipe

As a child, I wasn’t a big soup fan but this was actually one of my favorite soups. That and vegetable soup which can easily be made in a crockpot. I wouldn’t touch onions any other way but something about French onion soup changes the oniony taste to something magnificent.

Enjoy this classic dish any chilly day all fall or winter or even spring!

How to Make Traditional French Onion Soup Step-by-Step


  • 2.5 lbs of yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 6 cups of beef stock 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices of baguette
  • 1 cup of grated Gruyère cheese

First, peel and slice the onions. Make sure they are cut evenly. Take your time and make them thin.

traditional french onion soup recipe

Next the fun step that smells oh-so-amazing. Caramelize the Onions: In a large pot or Dutch oven (or a big pot will work fine if you don’t have one), melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the sliced onions and stir to coat them with the butter mixture. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions start to soften and turn translucent.

traditional french onion soup recipe

Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes, or until the onions are deeply caramelized to a rich golden brown color. Add the garlic in the last few minutes of cooking, being careful not to let it burn.

traditional french onion soup recipe

Deglaze and Simmer: Increase the heat to medium-high and pour in the white wine to deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Let the wine reduce by half, which will take around 5 minutes.

traditional french onion soup recipe

Now time for the next punch of amazing aromas. Add the beef stock, bay leaves, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and let it gently simmer for about 30 minutes. This will allow the flavors to meld together. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

traditional french onion soup recipe

Now it’s time to make the fantastic cheesy toast.  Preheat your broiler. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet, top with grated cheese and broil them in the preheated oven until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.

traditional french onion soup recipe

Once the cheese is melted perfectly over the toast it’s time to serve. Wait until you are ready to serve for this step but once you are lightly set two slices of toast in each bowl of soup and serve immediately.

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