This easy French onion soup recipe takes one of your favorite soups and elevates it by adding a cheesy-baked baguette topping. Cooked all in one pot, enjoy sweet caramelized onions, savory broth, and gooey cheese with every bite.
We’re a sucker for a nice warm bowl of soup this time of year, and there’s nothing quite as enjoyable on a chilly autumn evening than a classic French onion soup recipe. And, of course, we had to add our own flavorful twist to the recipe by topping this delicious soup with some homemade cheesy toast using a crunchy French baguette.
This flavorful soup may taste complex, but it’s actually quite easy to make. You’ll caramelize the onions and make your broth all in one pot. Then prepare your bread topping, and all you’ve got to do next is assemble, and dig in!
What You Need for French Onion Soup
- Yellow onions: these are the best kind of onions for making French onion soup.
- Garlic: garlic gives this soup a delicious, flavorful base. Don’t skip it!
- Worcestershire sauce: adds a savory, rich flavor to the broth.
- Beef broth: we kept it classic and used beef broth.
- Baguette: creates a satisfying crunchy topping for the soup.
- Shredded gruyere cheese: you can’t have French onion soup without melted cheese!
- Large Dutch oven: this allows you to cook everything evenly all in one pot for easy cooking and cleanup.
Substitutions & Variations
Onions: If you can’t get ahold of yellow onions, white onions or red onions are other great options.
Worcestershire: To make this French onion soup vegan or vegetarian, swap out the Worcestershire sauce for soy sauce, tamarind paste, balsamic vinegar, or miso.
Broth: Feel free to use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. You could also use chicken broth if you prefer.
Bread: Other breads that work well for French onion soup are sourdough, rye, or ciabatta.
Cheese: Mozzarella, provolone, or Swiss cheese would also be great additions. We recommend that you use some gruyere or Swiss cheese with mozzarella and/or provolone.
Does it matter how you cut onions for French onion soup?
Yes, it does! When making French onion soup, it’s best to cut the onions into uniform slices that are about ¼” thick. This will ensure the onions cook evenly and don’t become mushy or stringy.
Why does my French onion soup taste bland?
There are a few reasons why your French onion soup comes out lacking in flavor. First, French onion soup relies heavily on caramelized onions which can take a long time to reach the desired level of flavor, so don’t rush the cooking process.
Second, make sure to use good quality beef stock, as this will greatly affect the flavor of your soup. Aromatics like garlic and herbs can also add a lot of flavor, so add generously!
Should French onion soup be thick or thin?
This ultimately depends on your preference, but many people prefer a thick French onion soup. This is because it’s made with caramelized onions, which give the soup a sweetness that pairs well with the thickness of the broth.
Store any leftover French onion soup and cheesy baguettes in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To freeze, allow the soup to cool before portioning it out into freezer-safe bags. Then store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This French onion soup is perfect for serving a crowd. For individual servings, add soup to oven-safe bowls and top with 2-3 slices of baguette. Then sprinkle 1 ounce of shredded gruyere cheese on top and broil for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
French Onion Soup
- Heat a large Dutch oven over low heat. Add the sliced onion, salt, and butter to the pot and cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and fresh thyme to the pot and stir. Cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Prepare the bread topping. Preheat the oven to 450℉ and drizzle the olive oil onto a baking sheet.
- Slice a baguette into ½ -inch thick slices. Place the slices on the oiled baking sheet. Top with the gruyere cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
- To serve soup, top with cheesy baguette slices.
Tips & Notes
- While the onions are cooking in step one, some of the water will come out of the onions because of the heat and salt. This should cook off for the most part. If the liquid cooks off and the onion starts to stick to the bottom of the pot, then add more butter or olive oil. 1-2 tablespoons at a time.
- This is a great soup to serve to a crowd. If you want to serve individual servings, add soup to oven-safe bowls and top with 2-3 slices of baguette. Top with 1 oz. of shredded gruyere cheese and broil for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- We used gruyere cheese for this recipe. Mozzarella, provolone, or Swiss cheese would also be great additions. We recommend that you use some gruyere or Swiss cheese with mozzarella and/or provolone.