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French Onion Soup

A bowl of french onion soup covered in melted cheese

A classic recipe for French Onion Soup that can be on your table in 1 hour!  Simple and so delicious, this soup is great as an appetizer or main dish.

This French Onion Soup recipe is a must make!  A rich and flavourful broth with caramelized onions, topped with a cheesy and delicious bread crust…this soup will quickly become a family favourite comfort dish.

French Onion Soup is so simple to make!

For some reason I thought that French Onion Soup would be one of those soups that was difficult to make, but was I wrong!  It’s actually so easy, and worth the effort!   This recipe is to die for.  Seriously.  It’s so flavourful.

A top down view of sliced white sweet onions

Full of delicious and simple ingredients!

Made with sweet onions, flavourful vegetable broth, fresh thyme, chunks of bread and loads of cheese!

A view of a bowl of French Onion Soup topped with a cheesy bread crust.

Comfort food at its best!

French Onion Soup seems to be one of those recipes that has gone out of ‘food fashion’ over the years…it was really popular in the 60’s.  Why it hasn’t stayed that way is really beyond me.  This soup is delicious and comforting. 

A top down view of bowls of French Onion Soup topped with cheesy bread crust.

A close up view of a bowl of French Onion Soup topped with a cheesy bread crust.

More than meets the eye…or stomach!

This soup is much more filling that you might realize.  Every time I make it I worry that it’s not enough for dinner, and think about doubling the recipe, but it’s not necessary.  It comfortably serves our family of 5…the thick cheesy bread topping is filling in itself.  But sometimes I’ll serve it with a green salad. 

A close up top down view of a bowl of French Onion Soup topped with a cheesy bread crust.

Have it ready in about an hour! 

As an added bonus, this soup only takes about 1 hour to make!  The bulk of the time is spent caramelizing the onions.  If you don’t mind the onions being a little less caramelized you can have it ready in even less time.  And on the other hand, if you want really rich caramelized onions, feel free to saute them longer to get that rich caramel colour and flavour…which could mean that this soup will take a little longer than an hour to make.

Two bowls of French Onion Soup topped with a cheesy bread crust.

French Onion Soup Recipe Tips:

  • Broth:  You can use vegetable or beef broth for this recipe.
  • Cheese:  This recipe calls for shredded Swiss cheese, but sometimes I like to use 1/2 Swiss cheese and 1/2 Gouda cheese.
  • Bread:  You can use a baguette for the topping, or any of your favourite bread…the more robust the loaf, the better.
  • Onions:  See above for a little tip on caramelizing onions!
  • Bowls:  A bit about bowls…the best bowls to use for French Onion Soup, are French Onions Soup Bowls that are intended for this type of soup.  They have handles that allow for ease of sliding bowls around in the oven, and traditional bowls have a smaller opening than the bottom of the bowl (like the bowl I have at the bottom of this post).  In the pictures above, the opening of the bowl is as wide as the bottom, and honestly they don’t work as well because the wide opening allows for more bread, which soaks up the soup.  SO if you can, use a french onion soup bowl like the one at the bottom of this post, with the smaller opening so that your soup doesn’t disappear into the bread!  😉
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French Onion Soup


A classic recipe for French Onion Soup that can be on your table in 1 hour!  Simple and so delicious, this soup is great as an appetizer or main dish.




  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cups sliced onions (about 5 medium onions, cut in half then sliced)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 L of vegetable broth (or beef)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Bread and Cheese Topping:

  • 1 small baguette
  • butter
  • 2 cups grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Making the soup:

  1. In a skillet on low/medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil, then add the onions and sugar, and cook until soft and caramelized (don’t burn them). Stir often. Mine took about 30 minutes.
  2. Once the onions are caramelized, add the broth, water, wine, Dijon mustard, thyme and bay leaf.
  3. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and gently simmer, covered for about 20 minutes.

Preparing the cheese/bread topping:

  1. Set your oven to the broil setting.
  2. While the soup is simmering, you can prepare the cheese and bread that make the topping.
  3. Shred the cheese.  Set aside.
  4. Cut the baguette into 1/2 inch slices, and butter each side. Place them on a cookie sheet.
  5. Put the bread slices in your preheated oven to toast – about 2 minutes per side. Careful not to burn them!
  6. Once they are toasted, remove the toasts from the oven, and cut them into chunks that are just a little bigger than bite sized. Set aside.

Putting it all together:

  1. Once the soup has cooked for its 20-30 minutes, remove the thyme and the bay leaf.
  2. Pour the soup into individual oven safe bowls. This recipe filled 4 bowls very generously, or you can spread them out between 6 small portions.
  3. Add the bread chunks to the top of the soup, being generous to cover the top.
  4. Sprinkle on the Swiss and parmesan cheeses.
  5. Sometimes I like to garnish the soups with a little sprig of fresh thyme.
  6. Line the bowls up on a cookie sheet, and put them in the oven under broil until the cheese is melted, bubbly and slightly browned. Don’t burn them! This takes about 3 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Soup

Keywords: French onion soup, soup recipe

 Recipe adapted from Chatelaine.com

More delicious 1-hour soup recipes!

I hope you enjoy this warm meal!  Have a delicious day!

Note:  This recipe was originally shared October 2012. I have since updated this post with new images and some recipe tips!

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  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    WOWzer, what a gorgeous bowl of soup.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Sluurrp!! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    This is too amazing! Your husband and family are so lucky to have you as an amazing chef! Please write your own cookbook!

  • Reply
    Lindsay K {lastyearoftwentysomething}
    October 3, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    This sounds so good! I may have to make it today!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Funny I was just thinking about trying to make some myself the other day, just need to find the time. Looks absolutely Yummy, Jo-Anna !

  • Reply
    Elaine - Visual Meringue
    October 3, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    yummy! I am going to make this next week. Just sent it to my hubby and now he’s drooling 🙂

  • Reply
    nicolette {momnivores dilemma}
    October 4, 2012 at 5:32 AM

    Thank you, soup goddess…

    Pinning for all to salivate over.

  • Reply
    Craftberry Bush
    October 5, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    You know Jo, every time I see this soup of yours, my mouth waters without fail….as a matter of fact, i will order this next time I’m out…thanks for helping my hip situation…haha…..xo

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ henry happened
    October 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    this looks delicious… I’ve never had it!

  • Reply
    Nancy at maddalee™
    October 5, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Yummmm, looks so good on this chilly evening!
    Have a good day, Nancy

  • Reply
    Jaime Lyn
    October 6, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    ohhhhhh YUMMMMMM I do not think you could have made that soup look any more delicious! I seriously wish I could taste it RIGHT NOW! I had better get grocery shopping! Thank you again this week for the wonderful inspiration!!
    Jaime from Crafty Scrappy Happy

  • Reply
    October 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Beautiful photography!!! Just copied and saved – will be on the menu docket soon. We finally got some cool weather in Houston, Texas today so soups and stews will soon be popular for dinner. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    Heaven's Walk
    October 11, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    I can remember a local restaurant having the BEST French onion soup ever and it looked just like yours. I’m definitely going to try this recipe soon. It looks so delicious!!! Thanks for sharing it!

    xoxo laurie

  • Reply
    Jeanine Okio B Designs
    October 16, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Oh my, does that look delicious!


  • Reply
    Pretend Chef
    October 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    This looks so delicious. I need to try this soon. I haven’t found a restaurant yet that serves a good french onion soup so making it at home will be perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Shannon Fox
    February 20, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    This looks amazingly, perfectly, delicious!!
    We need small and lick a screen for this 😉 lol

  • Reply
    My Little Home and Garden
    February 20, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    The soup looks fabulous! My mouth is watering.

  • Reply
    Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com]
    October 26, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    This looks DELICIOUS and I’m so in the mood for it. Is it super salty? I guess that would depend on the beef broth??

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