RecipesSoupsFrench Onion Soup Recipe (Soupe à l’Oignon)

French Onion Soup Recipe (Soupe à l’Oignon)

French onion soup is especially delicious in the winter, with its rich broth infused with the earthy flavors of caramelized onions and beef, topped with luscious melted cheese and crisp croutons.

French Onion Soup is believed to have originated in France during the Roman era. Onions were a staple ingredient in the diets of ancient Romans, and they were often used in various dishes, including soups.

rustic french onion soup meal dinner

The modern version of French Onion Soup, as we know it today, began to take shape in the 17th century. Onions were slowly caramelized to bring out their natural sweetness and depth of flavor.

French Onion Soup gained popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries, becoming a staple in French bistros and households. It was appreciated for its comforting qualities and ability to transform humble ingredients into a flavorful and elegant dish!

How to Make Authentic French Onion Soup

This recipe makes four bowls of soup. 


French onion soup ingredients


  • 6 yellow onions, peeled and sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (55 grams)
  • ½ cup red wine (125 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons cognac (30 ml)
  • 8 cups beef stock or beef bone broth (2 liters)
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


2 cups grated gruyère cheese (or another similar cheese like Swiss cheese or Emmental cheese)

12 slices of French bread (or similar), sliced thinly and toasted (or pre-purchased melba toast)

1 clove of garlic, peeled and halved

Instructions Step by Step

  1. Peel the onions, then cut into 4 quarters. Slice each quarter into thin strips.
  2. In a large pot on medium heat, add your sliced onions and butter, and cook while stirring for 15 minutes, or until the onions begin to caramelize. Deglaze the pan with your wine and cognac, and let reduce until almost all of the liquid is gone. Add in your beef stock and ground nutmeg, and mix well.
  3. Bring to a boil and let reduce for approximately 30 minutes at medium heat, or until the soup has reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Preheat your oven to broil. Place your bowls of soup on a baking tray.
  5. Rub each slice of toasted bread (or pre-purchased melba toast) with your clove of garlic. Cover each bowl of soup with 2 tablespoons of grated cheese, then place 3 slices of toasted bread on top, followed by the rest of the cheese. 
  6. Broil for approximately 5 minutes or just until the cheese begins to melt and brown.

Serve your French Onion Soup with a slice of crusty baguette or sourdough bread. The bread can be toasted or grilled with Gruyère or Emmental cheese to make a delicious and cheesy crostini.


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