French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup Diary of a Humble Chef

The first time I enjoyed a bowl of french onion soup was when I was about 9 years old and our family was vacationing in Gatlinburg, TN. I’ve been a bit obsessed with this flavorful soup ever since. But admittedly it took a few years before I’d eat the onions. I only wanted the broth, bread and yummy melted cheese. I still sometimes turn my nose up if the onions aren’t nicely caramelized. Undercooked = blech.

I was discussing this recipe with a good friend of mine whose husband just happens to be an amazing chef. According to him, a veal bone is the key to a flavorful broth. I learned something new that day,  but just couldn’t see myself heading off to the butcher for a veal bone.

I do really hope to enjoy a fabulous bowl of his french onion soup one day (hint hint Kendra).

I usually prepare a roast in my slow cooker for various meals, like BBQ beef sandwiches, etc. saving the broth for later use in soups. Although not strictly necessary, it’s worth a try sometime. Scroll down for my version. Otherwise, store purchased broth is absolutely fine.

French Onion Soup 2 watermark

Using both butter and olive oil, sauté the sliced onions in a dutch oven for about 30 – 45 minutes over medium heat. Keep an eye on them. You want them well on their way to caramelization, but don’t want them burnt to a crisp. Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute, then deglaze the pan with red wine and stir. If using canned beef broth, now is the time to add the Worcestershire and bay leaf. Then add the beef broth. At this point, you can place the soup in a crockpot and simmer on low for a few hours. Or, simply simmer on the stove for about an hour. Ladle into oven save bowls.

Fire up the broiler and lightly toast the baguette slices. Add the toasted baguette slices to the soup and then top with 2 – 3 slices of Gruyere. You can also use a combo of cheeses, such as Havarti, Swiss or Provolone. Sprinkle with parmesan, if desired.

Broil on high for 3 – 5 minutes, depending on how browned you like the cheese.

Following is my beef broth how to. Add extra broth or a combo of water/bouillon for exact proportions:

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef and Broth

Chuck Roast (seasoned with sea salt and pepper)

1 beer of choice

4 C. beef broth

2 Quartered onions

4-5 whole garlic cloves

1 T. brown sugar

1 1/2 T. Worcestershire

1 bay leaf

Place the beef in the slow cooker (you can brown it beforehand if you want), add the onions and garlic, then dump in the beer. Combine the brown sugar, Worcestershire, and bay leaf with the beef broth. Pour over the roast. I prefer to slow cook it on low for 8-10 hours. After it is done, remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred, discarding any nasty fat of course. Now your beef is ready for BBQ sauce, etc.

Rather than dumping the broth down the drain, you can save it for another meal that calls for beef broth. Like this soup! Strain it in a bowl over a cheese cloth lined strainer. Discard the vegetables, etc. and refrigerate the strained broth until ready to use.

This sounds like a hassle, but it really isn’t.

5.0 from 1 reviews
French Onion Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yummy melted Gruyere tops off this comforting, flavorful French onion soup. Just in time for winter!
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4 - 6 servings
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1-2 T. salted butter
  • 3-4 onions, halved and sliced into half moons
  • 1T. flour
  • 6 C. beef broth (see notes for preparing your own ahead of time)
  • 1½ T. Worcestershire and 1 bay leaf (if using canned beef broth)
  • ¾ C. cup red wine (I used a drier wine)
Assembly for 4 to 6 bowls of soup
  • 4 - 6 slices french baguette, sliced diagonally
  • Lots of slices of Gruyere cheese or combo of Gruyere, Swiss, Havarti (2 - 3 slices per bowl)
  • ½ - 1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Depending on the size, you will need 4 - 6 oven safe soup bowls.
  1. In a dutch oven, saute the onions in butter/olive oil for 30 - 45 minutes or until onions are almost caramelized.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the onions, stir and cook for about a minute.
  3. Deglaze with the red wine.
  4. Add the Worcestershire and bay leaf(if using canned beef broth), broth and water. Gently simmer for 45 minutes or so.
  5. Turn on the broiler to high.
  6. Lightly toast the baguette slices under the broiler.
  7. Place the bowls on a sturdy cookie sheet. Ladle soup into the bowls and add a baguette slice to each.
  8. Top with 2 - 3 slices of cheese and sprinkle parmesan. Broil for 3 - 5 minutes, until nicely browned and bubbly.
Wild Cards:
Can be finished off in a slow cooker, rather than simmering on the stove.
Use less onions for more of a brothy soup.
Depending on your preference, top the bowl with 2 or 3 slices of cheese.


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  1. WOW, this looks amazing! I’ll be over for lunch! :)

  2. I’ve been thinking about trying to make onion soup for several days. Since moving to a remote little town I miss restaurant options. Great timing for me to find your recipe!

  3. Your soup looks amazing–just like it came from a fancy restaurant. That is my all-time favorite soup. Thanks for the recipe.

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