First Published: October 25, 2015… Last Updated: November 12, 2019

French Onion Soup is full of caramelized onions that have been simmered in red wine and beef broth, then put under the broiler to melt the cheese on top. This warm, comforting soup is perfect for cold days when you need to warm up!

This French Onion Soup recipe makes a delicious lunch or a great appetizer before dinner. Great for special family dinners or a romantic evening meal at home. This soup recipe warms your heart and soul and will make your guests tastebuds happy.

French Onion Soup in an orange soup crock with broiled cheese

Why I decided to make French Onion Soup right at home

I never enjoyed a bowl of French Onion Soup until I visited a restaurant called Barkeaters in Watertown NY. It was my first bowl of soup I ever ordered out that wasn’t Clam Chowder! It was so delicious, I knew that one day I would be trying it on my own.

Like most people, when it starts to get chilly outside I want warm and comforting food. This French Onion Soup has become a staple in our home the minute we have our first frost of the season. The aroma in the house is undeniably inviting making lunch even more welcome!

A spoonful of French Onion Soup

The most important ingredients in this soup recipe

Onions: You want a sweet onion to make French Onion Soup. I use 4 large Vidalia onions for this recipe.

Beef Broth: Use a good quality broth. Bone broth is a good one to use. This is my favorite brand!

Fresh Thyme: I always have fresh thyme in my refrigerator. If you don’t have fresh, that is ok, you can substitute with dried thyme.

Bay Leaf: This is a pantry item that I don’t use too often, but that’s ok because it lasts a long time! I use it mainly in soups and stews and will put some on top of my Jalapeno Meatloaf when baking.

Ingredients for the soup recipe: minced garlic, onion slices, butter, thyme, and bay leaves

Wine: I always have a variety of wine in my home. I belong to this Simply Red Club where I have two bottles delivered to my door every other month! A dry red is best. I went with Cabernet for this recipe.

Bread: Use a sturdy bread that won’t fall apart when adding to the soup, but yet one that you can easily break with a spoon when dipping into the soup bowl. My preference is a crusty baguette with a firm edge but a chewy center.

Cheese: Use any cheese you love. The most common cheese used is Swiss, but I have also used Havarti, Provolone, and Parmesan Cheese.

The method for making French Onion Soup

This soup is really easy to make. It may be a little time consuming but well worth the time you put into it. The onions will simmer for about 25 minutes until they have caramelized. Then the wine is added and simmered until the wine has reduced down and onions are not liquidy.

Flour is used as a thickener for the soup and is added to the onions once the wine has reduced. It is sprinkled over top and stirred in, cooking it for at least 10 minutes to cook the raw flour taste out.

Finally, the beef broth is added. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. After it is done with the simmer, you can ladle the soup into a gratin dish, top with a slice of bread and Swiss cheese (provolone if you’re like my Grumpy!) and broil on high until melted and bubbly! The stringy, cheesy reward is divine!

Cheese piled on top of the bread and soup in an orange crock, ready to place under the broiler on a baking sheet

Make this recipe your own

There are a few things you can do to change this recipe to make it work for you. Some suggestions are listed below.

  • Out of wine, or don’t like the flavor of red wine? Substituting 1 cup of beef broth for the red wine will work just as well. Or, you may want to substitute a white wine in place of the red.
  • Looking to reduce the carbs or be gluten-free? Omit the bread altogether and top with cheese slices, then broil.
  • Substitute vegetable broth for beef broth and make this a vegetarian soup.
  • Make it low carb and keto by using slices of this Keto Slider Bun for the bread. Skip the flour thickener and sprinkle a teaspoon of Xanthan Gum over the hot soup while stirring constantly.
An orange crock with French Onion Soup on a serving plate.

To toast or not to toast the bread for your French Onion Soup

I have made this soup both ways. For me, it depends on the bread I am using for the recipe. I have used a sturdy Italian bread and not toasted it. The bread did not get soggy and was easy to break my spoon into.

When I make this low carb and keto-friendly by using a keto bread, I always toast it. Keto bread can fall apart way too easily and toasting it firms it up and dries it out, making the bread sturdier.

Toasting a very crusty piece of bread can make it harder to break up when diving in with your spoon. Do you really want to fight to get a bite of your food? In the long run, it really is your preference for what you want to do.

Other warm you up soup recipes you may enjoy

Chilly weather calls for a lot of soup, and I have the best soup recipes for you to make.

Hamburger Soup is one of my absolute favorite soup recipes. It’s right up there with this French Onion Soup.

Grumpy is all about the meatballs in this Pho Soup recipe with Spicy Meatballs. A little bit of spicy with delicious Asian flavors, this soup can easily be made a meal and it is keto-friendly!

This low carb keto recipe for Cheesy Cauliflower Soup is made in a flash in the Instant Pot.

Miso Tofu Noodle Soup is meatless and filling. This Asian inspired soup recipe is easy and delicious.

This Chicken Noodle Soup is made low carb or if you want, you can use your favorite pasta instead. Either way, it is absolute comfort food!

From Soup to Stew, heartier recipes in a bowl you may like

If you’re looking for a hot meal that is heartier, something you can stand on its own as a meal, this Instant Pot Venison Stew with Sweet Potatoes is a great stew recipe. Spicy and sweet, delicious to eat!

If you want a regular stew, then this Crockpot Venison Stew is the ticket. Not a fan of venison? Substitute beef and your good to go.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup is made in the Instant Pot, keto-friendly and very warm and satisfying.

A delicious vegetarian option is this Lentil Stew. The slightly spicy soup is packed with flavor and ready to serve in about an hour.

French Onion Soup

*If you made this recipe for French Onion Soup, please give it a star rating*

French Onion Soup

This French Onion Soup is full of caramelized onions that have been simmered in red wine and beef broth, then put under the broiler to melt the cheese on top. This warm, comforting soup is perfect for cold days when you need to warm up!
4.67 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: lunch
Cuisine: French
Keyword: beef broth, comfort food, french onion, soup, warming dishes, wine
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 371kcal


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 4 sweet onions thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 6 baguette slices
  • 1/2 pound swiss cheese


  • Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until onions are soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes.
  • Add wine, bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the wine has evaporated and onions start to dry.
  • Discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Sprinkle flour over onions and cook stirring so the flour doesn’t burn for about 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
  • Add the beef broth 1 cup at a time, stirring well while doing so. Bring the soup back to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer another 10 minutes.
  • Place the soup in oven-safe bowls on a large baking sheet. Arrange bread slices on top of the soup and sprinkle with the cheese.
  • Preheat the oven on broil.
  • Broil for 3 minutes or until bubbly and golden


Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 488mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.


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  5. Sam @ PancakeWarriors October 25, 2015 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Ok so french onion soup – I haven’t had it in so long. Ever since I went vegetarian, it’s been off limits. But this was a great reminder that I can make this from scratch. now I’m craving!!!

    • Shelby October 25, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

      You can still make it with a nice vegetable broth also! 🙂

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  16. Tara October 25, 2015 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    My daughter could eat a bowl of French onion soup a day and I could join her every other day, we love it here and yours looks scrumptious!

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  19. Kristi @ My SF Kitchen October 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    You made my FAVORITE soup in the world 😀

  20. Hezzi-D October 25, 2015 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    This is one of my favortie soups!

  21. French Onion Soup - Yum Goggle October 25, 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply

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  22. Patsy October 25, 2015 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    I adore French Onion Soup! Now, I’m going to have to try your recipe!

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  24. I have definitely trick or treated in snow before! But I always hope for an Indian summer day instead! Great looking soup. One of my favorites any time of the year!

  25. Liz October 26, 2015 at 6:36 am - Reply

    You’ve reminded me that it’s been WAY too long since I’ve made French onion soup! Yours looks DIVINE!!!

  26. Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere October 26, 2015 at 8:46 am - Reply

    French Onion Soup is the epitome of comfort food for us, and yours looks fabulous!

  27. Wendy @ Wholistic Woman October 26, 2015 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Oh hello, red wine? That plus melty cheese and caramelized onions and I am seriously going to have to try this.

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  29. Bernie | A Gouda Life October 26, 2015 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    Lovvvve french onion soup and this one’s a home run!

  30. One of my all time favorite soups! Looks delicious!

  31. Wendy, A Day in the Life on the Farm October 27, 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    One of my very favorite soups.

  32. Sue Lau October 29, 2015 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Looks so yummy loaded with that cheese!

  33. Caroline | carolinescooking October 30, 2015 at 9:34 am - Reply

    I haven’t had French onion soup in forever, this looks great!

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  37. Kelsey Apley January 24, 2019 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    This is such a delicious recipe! I made it last week and was beyond pleased! My husband devoured it as well.

    • Shelby January 25, 2019 at 9:03 am - Reply

      Hi Kelsey! Thanks for stopping by to let me know. So glad you enjoyed it!

  38. Jenni January 25, 2019 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    I LOVE a good bowl of french onion soup! I had never made it at home before, but this recipe was so simple to follow and made such awesome soup! Now I enjoy it whenever I get a craving for it!

  39. Grace January 30, 2019 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    What could be used in place of red wine?

    • Shelby January 30, 2019 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Grace, you can substitute beef broth for the red wine. Thanks for stopping by!

  40. Anonymous October 16, 2019 at 6:14 pm - Reply


  41. Miriah October 27, 2019 at 11:02 am - Reply


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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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