Classic french onion soup is basically a caramelised onion soup gratinated with cheesy bread on the top. If there is one thing I know from the time I lived in France is that the french loooove their baguettes and cheese.
There is nothing better than a homemade french onion soup. The french onion soup mix that you buy from supermarkets does not even come close to the real deal made at home. If the french know that we have a cheaper version of a powdered mix in Australia they will shout ‘oh mon Dieu which translates to ‘Oh my god’
What does french onion soup taste like?
It has a slight sweetness from the caramelised onion mixed with herbs and a savoury broth topped with rich and cheesy bread.
Cutting onions for french onion soup
Well, it has a lot of onions, when I say a lot, be ready to cry your eyeballs out chopping the onions. since I was an ex-chef slicing onion thinly is easy for me, but if slicing onions are hard for you, then you can use the vegetable chopper to do it, if not just slice thin slices of onion. one trick I see many people do when chopping onions, they wear a pair of goggles, not sure if that will help!! Also, slice the onion, do not dice the onion.
Classic french onion soup ingredients
French onion soup is one of the basic soups, all you need is onion, herbs, white wine and stock to make the base, but what makes it extra special is the cheesy toast that is served on the top.
Best onions for french onion soup
Brown onions are the best for french onion soup. Every onion in all countries are different, but the natural sweetness of the onion is what will make the soup flavourful and brown onions are ideal for this soup
Best cheese for french onion soup
The french use comte and gruyere, because they are amazing stretchy cheeses and also have a very strong flavour but I have tried it with normal cheese blends and mozzarella and they work fine too.
What makes this an authentic french onion soup is the fact that the french will usually use sherry wine and cognac to deglaze the caramelised onion and gratinated the bread on the soup, but I will be showing you an easier way to do it and I have not used cognac and sherry, just white wine, but if you wish to use them, buy all means go ahead and use them.
What wine to use for a traditional french onion soup recipe
Usually, dry white wine is used. Make sure not to use a sweet wine, because the caramelised onions will have enough sweetness and using a sweet wine will only make the soup sweeter and will not balance the flavours together. French onion soup recipe must be made with white wine. Any cheap chardonnay, sauvignon blanc will be good for this recipe.
Classic french onion soup recipe without wine
French Onion soup also can be made without wine, But it always tastes better with wine, well anything tastes better with wine But if you don’t want to add it, definitely omit it.
How do I thicken French onion soup?
French onion soup will be thickened by reducing the soup down and also with the onions. But we do add a little bit of flour, so the soup will thicken and not be too watery
This recipe will be a big batch enough for 6-8 people but when gratinating and serving this will become a french onion soup for one. Traditionally this caramelized onion soup is served into small crockpots for one, topped with cheesy bread and gratinated.
What do you eat with onion soup?
- Baguette or any bread
Why is my French onion soup not Brown?
It is very important to caramelise the onion properly, if it is not caramelised and cooked well before adding the broth, then it will be pale in colour. The secret is in the caramelisation and the broth used, I have used beef stock here, for extra flavour, but If you want to use vegetable stock or chicken stock, you can do that too.
You can also check my other starter recipes here
Classic french onion soup recipe video
Step by Step recipe on how to make classic french onion soup
Classic French Onion Soup
- 30 g Butter
- 1 tbsp Oil Olive, canola, vegetable
- 1 kg Brown onion (approx 6 large onions) Thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp White sugar
- 185 ml White wine Dry wine
- 2 tbsp Flour All purpose
- 1.5 L Beef stock can substitute for chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt To taste
- Pepper To taste
- 2 Bay leaves
- 3 sprig Thyme
- 1 sprig Rosemary
- 6-8 slices Baguette
- 100 g Cheese (Gruyere, tasty, mozarella)
- 1 tsp Chopped herbs (Parsley, thyme)
- Using a string, tie togeather bay leaves, rosemary and thyme together and leave aside
French onion Soup
- In a heavy bottom saucepan add oil and butter, once hot add in the thinly sliced onions, sugar and cook on a low fire for approximately 30 mins until well caramelised and soft
- Once the onions are caramelised and turned slightly golden brown colour.
- Deglaze with white wine and scrape all the caramelised parts that are stuck on the bottom of the pan. Let it absorb all the alcohol for 1 minute,then add flour and cook for further 1 minute
- Then add the stock, Prepared Bouquet Garni and cook on a low fire for 20-30 mins, checking occasionally
- After 20-30 mins check to season, take the soup off the fire. Take out the bouquet garni and discard
- Preheat the oven to 220c (grill mode)
- Slice the bread and lay it on a flat tray, add oil on all sides
- Toast the bread in the oven for 2 minutes, take the toasted bread off the oven, add in the cheese on the top of the toasted bread and grill further in the oven for 5-6 minutes. Once the cheese is golden and gratinated take it out of the oven.
Finishing the soup
- Add the soup into small bowls, and add the cheesy toast on the top, sprinkle with some chopped herbs on the top and enjoy.You can also gratinate the whole soup together if you wish to do that, then take the toasted bread, add on top of the soup bowls, sprinkle the top of the bread with cheese and grill in the oven until golden and gratinated.