Classic French Onion Soup

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 2 hours


12 servings (2-1/4 quarts)

Updated: Nov. 27, 2023
Enjoy my signature French onion soup the way my granddaughter Becky does: I make onion soup for her in a crock bowl, complete with garlic croutons and gobs of melted Swiss cheese on top. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah
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  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 cups thinly sliced onions (about 3 pounds)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup port wine
  • 2 cartons (32 ounces each) beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 24 slices French bread baguette (1/2 inch thick)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 3/4 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese


  1. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil and butter over medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir until softened, 10-13 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Add minced garlic; cook 2 minutes longer.
  2. Stir in wine. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add broth, pepper and salt; return to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet; brush both sides with remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Bake until toasted, 3-5 minutes on each side. Rub toasts with halved garlic.
  4. To serve, place twelve 8-oz. broiler-safe bowls or ramekins on baking sheets; place 2 toasts in each. Ladle with soup; top with cheese. Broil 4 in. from heat until cheese is melted.
French Onion Soup Tips

What kind of onions should you use to make French onion soup?

Sweet onions complement the savory beef broth in French onion soup the best. If you need a substitute in a pinch, other types of onions, like yellow onions, can be used.

What kind of beef broth should you use to make French onion soup?

After the onions, beef broth is truly the "back bone" ingredient in French onion soup, so using a good quality broth is key. Store-bought is fine, or consider making your own homemade beef broth.

How can you make French onion soup your own?

For a really hearty soup, incorporate leftover meat from a beef roast. Instead of baguette slices, cut the bread into croutons, toast them in the oven, and scatter on top of the soup with or without cheese. Or if you really love cheese, take cues from this three-cheese onion soup: Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet, top with gruyere and mozzarella cheese, broil for a few minutes, then top the soup with the cheesy croutons and an extra sprinkle of Parmesan.

How should you store leftover French onion soup?

French onion soup can be kept in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days. It also freezes well (here are some tips for freezing soup). Either way, make sure to store the cheese and bread separately. To reheat, gently bring the soup to a simmer on the stovetop and top with bread and cheese according to the recipe.

Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup soup with 2 slices bread and 1 tablespoon cheese: 195 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 9mg cholesterol, 805mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 6g protein.