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Classic French Onion Soup

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.

Classic French Onion Soup

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.

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French onion soup

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.

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Traditional french onion soup

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
  • Salad

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.

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Caramelising onions for classic french onion soup

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

Classic French Onion Soup

Caramelised onion soup topped with gratinated cheesy bread
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 350kcal

Servings: 6 people


  • crockpot


  • 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

Bouquet garni

  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 3 sprig Thyme
  • 1 sprig Rosemary

Toasted bread

  • 6-8 slices Baguette
  • 100 g Cheese (Gruyere, tasty, mozarella)
  • 1 tsp Chopped herbs (Parsley, thyme)


Bouquet garni

  • 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

Cheese toast

  • 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.



Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 903mg | Potassium: 787mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Facts
Classic French Onion Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 350 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 28mg9%
Sodium 903mg39%
Potassium 787mg22%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 322IU6%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 210mg21%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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