Who doesn't love a bowl of classic French onion soup? It's comforting, flavourful and cheesy enough to be the ultimate comfort food. It is available at most restaurants but have you tried making it at home?
Fine Dining Lovers is here to guide you with a step-by-step recipe that is easy to follow. You'll be able to make this French classic with simple ingredients. Ready to give it a go? Keep reading.
Classic French onion soup recipe
The great Julia Child believed that onions for an onion soup need ''a long, slow cooking in butter and oil, then a long, slow simmering in stock.'' Her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking advises a 2 1/2 hour cooking time, from start to finish.
To stay true to the classic French onion soup recipe we recommend the following ingredients and procedure:
For 4 servings
700g (1.5lbs) onions
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
800ml (3 1/3 cups) beef stock (you can also use vegetable stock)
200ml (7oz) white wine
4 slices of thickly cut baguette
100g (1/2 cup) Gruyère cheese, shredded
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
Pepper to taste
1. Peel and slice the onions into strips.
2. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Cook the onions for 10-15 minutes on low heat, stirring regularly and allowing them to soften.
3. Add the salt and sugar then increase to medium heat. Cook the onions for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly until deep golden brown.
4. Pour in stock and wine and continue cooking for 15 minutes.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Divide into 4 soup bowls and put a slice of baguette sprinkled with grated cheese on top of each.
7. Toast in a broiler for 5 minutes, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and serve. Enjoy!
Tips & tricks
- Don’t rush the caramelising phase – this is what gives the recipe its flavour.
- If you don’t want to include the alcohol, try a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce instead.
- Alternative cheeses include gouda and fontina.
How to serve classic French onion soup
Ladle the soup into a bowl and place one crouton on top. If you’re serving it to a group, you could pour it into a casserole dish and cover it with the bread before grilling until the cheese bubbles.
Storing your classic French onion soup
The soup, without the croutons, can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months – simply reheat it over a medium flame. You will need to make the fresh croutons again as they will go soft quickly.
Learn more about French cuisine and its classic recipes and if there’s a chill in the air and you’re craving a bowl of hearty broth soup, try these 15 delicious recipe ideas.
This article was updated on 15/03/2023.