Our French onion soup recipe makes a classic, rich, and hearty soup that guarantees to please everyone around the table!
Caramelizing onions brings out their natural sweetness and creates a rich base for this recipe. The golden- brown, caramelized onions are then simmered in wine, creating a stock filled with intense flavor.
Simmering allows a thicker, soup-like texture to complement the caramelized onions. The soup is accompanied by bread slices covered with melted cheese for an extraordinary experience.
Despite its restaurant-quality appearance, our French onion soup recipe requires only a few basic ingredients. Here’s what you need:
Onions: For this soup, you can use any type of onion — white, yellow, or red. If you want the traditional recipe, use 4 – 6 large yellow onions, peeled and cut thinly.
Butter: The tastiest way to caramelize onions is by frying in butter. However, if you are avoiding dairy, feel free to use olive oil instead.
Wine: Alcohol helps to deglaze the pan and build a depth of flavor. If the onions begin to burn on the bottom of the pan as they are caramelizing, add a few drops of wine to help loosen the burnt parts.
We recommend a high-quality dry white or red wine, such as a Pinot Grigio or Gris, Sauv Blanc, Sémillon, Chardonnay, Merlot, or Pinot Noir.
Seasoning: Salt and black pepper are used as the main seasonings for this soup. Feel free to add thyme, bay leaves, or your dried herbs of choice.
Bread and Cheese: For the toast with melted cheese on top.
What Cheese Goes on French Onion Soup?
Gruyere, Parmesan, and Mozzarella are the traditional cheeses used in French onion soup. However, if you don’t have them, you subtitle them to Gouda, Swiss, or Fontina.
Tips for Making
There are two essential elements to a traditional French onion soup.
The first is caramelized onions. You may be tempted to cut corners and sauté them till tender without browning them, but be patient! This step makes all the difference in flavor.
Caramelization is a chemical reaction that takes place when the natural sugars in onions reach a certain temperature. This only occurs after a lengthy cooking period, 40 – 45 minutes in this recipe. The more caramelized onions are, the darker their color and the more flavorful they will be.
The second secret is the stock because it will determine the quality of your onion soup. The saucepan is then deglazed with a small amount of wine or beef stock. Once the additional stock and seasonings have been added, the soup just needs to come to a boil and then simmer to perfection.
Is French Onion Soup Healthy?
Yes, our French onion soup is healthy.
First, onions are rich in vitamins and minerals yet low in calories. While one medium onion contains only 44 calories, it has vitamins, minerals, and fiber in abundance.
Plus, this vegetable is a powerhouse of plant compounds, such as flavonoids, fructans, and organosulfur which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties have been associated with many health benefits, including lowering cancer risk, lowering blood sugar levels, and enhancing bone health.
Our soup includes a decent amount of calories, approximately 156 calories per serving. It’s a light, healthy, and tasty appetizer that will awaken your taste buds for the main course.
What to Serve With
French onion soup can be either the main course or a side dish. How to serve this comforting soup and what to pair with it can be as diverse as you want it to be.
Occasionally, we love to have a hot bowl of French onion soup with bread-based dishes such as croque monsieur, grilled panini, or grilled cheese. The contrasts in flavor and texture between the soup and the bread enrich the overall experience.
If the soup is so tasty and creamy that you want it to be the main attraction. Salads with mild dressings or roasted vegetables are lighter options that pair well with this soup.
Storage and Reheating
Without the croutons, French onion soup can be stored without difficulty. Simply transfer the soup to a freezer-safe, airtight container and store for up to 3 – 4 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
To make things easier down the line, freeze it in serving-size portions to avoid having to thaw and refreeze the entire pack.
When ready to use, defrost it in the refrigerator the night before and reheat it on the stovetop. Then add the bread with melted cheese on top.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.
Perfectly comforting French onion soup recipe for a chilly evening.