French onion soup is a great way to use up a lot of onions, and it’s an easy soup to prepare. The key to great French onion soup is caramelizing the onions into a gooey, rich, golden sweetness. Avoid using a non-stick pan, since this will make caramelizing the onions take longer. Yellow or sweet onions are best for this recipe. Cook the onions down until they begin to release their sugars, turn golden, and stick to the pot. Sticking to the pot is good when it comes to caramelizing onions. And deglazing the pot with a bit of vinegar or white wine will add fantastic flavor to the French onion soup.
French Onion Soup Ingredients
4 lg ONIONS sliced into strips
1 Tbsp BUTTER
1 Tbsp OIL
3-5 cloves GARLIC finely chopped
½ tsp ITALIAN SEASONING
1 Tbsp WORCESTERSHIRE
dry WHITE WINE
or VINEGAR for de-glazing
2 cups BROTH
SALT and PEPPER (to taste)
toasted BREAD for crouton
creamy white CHEESE for topping
how to make this French Onion Soup Recipe
- Don’t use a non-stick pan. Sticking is good for French onion soup.
- Use yellow or sweet onions for this recipe, they have lots of sugar and are best for caramelizing.
- On medium heat, melt a combo of butter and oil.
- Add sliced onions into the pot.
- Add salt and mix the onions well with salt, butter, and oil.
- Add garlic if you want to, it’s optional for you, but it’s not optional for me.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have cooked down and caramelized.
Caramelization will take a while, you can’t rush the process.
Keep the heat around medium. Never on high heat.
You’re not just cooking the onions, you’re cooking the onions down, coaxing out the sugars and turning the onions into a rich goodness. Turning the heat up to high and searing the onions will not produce the same effect as caramelizing the onions, so be patient and give the onions time to caramelize…caramelization is the reason French onion soup tastes so good.
- After 30-45 minutes, your onions will begin to brown and stick to the pan.
- Once the onions turn gooey and have a nice color, add a bit of apple cider vinegar or a dry white wine to deglaze the pan and free any tasty onion flavor from the bottom of the pan.
If nothing is stuck to the pan, still add a bit of vinegar or white wine; it’s just a good idea.
- Add dried Italian seasoning, black pepper, and broth.
- Add in a little Worcestershire sauce if you like, it’s optional, but another good idea.
- Stir and bring the pot up to a bubble, reduce down to a simmer, and cook as long as you like, but at least 20-30 minutes.
And that’s it, the soup is ready.
Whenever you’re ready to serve the dish:
- Fill a serving of soup in an oven safe bowl.
- Top the soup with a toasted crouton; traditionally a large crouton is used, almost like a “raft” for the cheese, but this can be awkward to eat, so use smaller croutons, it will work just as well, and be less fuss for your spoon.
- Heap a mound of freshly shredded cheese onto the crouton. Be generous with the cheese. You want to use enough cheese so that it will melt and cover the entire top of the soup in a toasty cheese crust. Gruyere cheese is a nice choice, but any creamy white cheese will work. I like a combo of Monterrey jack and Parmesan cheese. Swiss is good, too. Whatever cheese you choose, be generous with it.
- Slide the soup bowl under a broiler until the cheese is melted and beginning to toast.
- As soon as it cools to a temperature that won’t burn your taste buds, it’s ready.
Give this French onion soup recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!
And for another rich soup dish, check out this Parsnip Soup Recipe
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