French Onion Soup

Nothing warms you up on a winter night better than French Onion Soup. The two most important ingredients are the onions and the stock.

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French Onion Soup

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 1 h 5 m
  • Total Time: 1 h 15 m
  • Servings:
    to 6


  • 3 pounds Vidalia or white onions or a combination of the two
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups good-quality beef stock or a mix of beef and chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 loaf baguette bread
  • 1 clove garlic
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Dry sherry or Brandy
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • fresh thyme leaves for garnish
  • parchment paper circle


  1. Pre-heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and add the onions. Cover the onions with the parchment paper circle. (This is not essential, but it helps prevent the onions from drying out.) Let the onions start to brown a little and then give them a good stir, scraping the bottom of the pan. The trick is in how often to stir – if you stir too much, the onions won’t get a chance to brown; if you don’t stir often enough, the onions might start to burn.
  3. As the onions start to brown more uniformly, season the onions with salt. The salt will draw out some of the moisture from the onions, which will then pick up the browning on the bottom of sauté pan and mix in with the onions.
  4. If the pan starts to get too brown, add a little water or white wine to the pan and stir.
  5. Continue to cook the onions like this for about 30 minutes until the onions are a deep golden brown.
  6. Deglaze the pan with white wine, scraping up all the brown bits on the pan. Add the beef stock, sprigs of thyme and bay leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Slice the baguette into 2-inch slices. Toast the baguette slice in a 350ºF oven until they are crisp and lightly browned. Gently rub the garlic clove over the toasted bread.
  8. Season the soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Finish by stirring in the butter.
  9. When you are ready to serve, pre-heat the broiler to high. Ladle the soup into oven-safe bowls or crocks. Add about a ½ teaspoon of brandy or sherry to each bowl. Top with 1 or 2 toasted baguette slices and sprinkle the Gruyère cheese on top to cover the soup and bread.
  10. Place the bowls or crocks on a sheet pan and place under the broiler until cheese is browned and melted. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and serve immediately.
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Comments (20)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    This is so easy to make and is absolutely delicious! I’ve made this several times & everyone just loves it. It’s a keeper Meredith !

  2. I made my classic mistake of buying ingredients before looking at your recipe, Meredith 🙁 . Can I use yellow onions or will it really affect the flavor?

    1. You can definitely use yellow onions. They flavor difference between onions is very slight. Sweet onions tend to be a little sweeter, but if you have yellow onions, you can still caramelize them and bring out their natural sugars.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this today and man it was the best French Onion soup I have ever made or eaten. Its was rich and flavorful, and adding the garlic to the baguette slices just sent it over the edge!!

  4. 5 stars
    WOW! Absolutely love this! I substituted Fontina for the Gruyere, as I had that left over from the Buckwheat Crepes cooking class.

  5. Made this recipe and it was delicious. Since I didn’t have oven/broiler safe bowls, I toasted the bread in a sheet pan then rubbed the garlic on them and covered with cheese and baked in the oven again until the cheese melted. I place the bread on the soup in the bowls.

  6. 5 stars
    Meridith, I always loved to see at QVC, it was hard to see you go but I always come here for new recipes to make. I have to say I really don’t like cooked onions, so I was very skeptical to make your French Onion Soup. My brother loves French Onion soup, so I gave in and purchased all the ingredients and followed your recipe. I made the soup today; I can’t lie I loved it! My brother was so thrilled that I make it and compared it, to The Velvet Turtle and he said; “This is the best French Onion Soup I have eaten anywhere.” He also said this should be a weekly soup come rain or shine. Thank you for a delicious soup.

  7. I made this soup this morning, had all the ingredients. Followed recipe to a tee. The best French onion soup I ever had. My 104 year old mom loved it. The only thing I changed was I used BTB concentrate instead of beef stock. Added six cups and six teaspoons of concentrate. Added pepper no salt and it’s the best soup! Thanks again

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