Soupe à l’oignon ~ French Onion Soup


French Onion Soup ~Who does not like this soup? They serve it in virtually every restaurant out there.  It is a simple soup that packs a punch if made correctly. I made a really large batch so the pictures don’t add up to the smaller version quoted here. The rich flavor of the base is not due just to the broth, but to the caramelized onions (typically, the pot is full of sliced onions, which will shrink down to less than half the volume upon cooking). Caramelization, in this case, is the procedure in which the onions are cooked slowly until the melting sugars approach burning temperature, becoming brown. Some recipes suggest a half an hour of cooking time, but many chefs and cooks allow for hours of cooking to bring out the flavors of the onions’ sugars. Sweating the onions to draw out the liquid is an important step in caramelization. This can be accomplished by tossing the onions in a fat of choice (olive oil, butter, or bacon fat), adding salt, and then covering the pot and letting the onions cook over very low heat. The salt and heat draw the liquid out of the onions. In the final stages of cooking, cognac, sherry or brandy is often used to enhance the caramelized onion flavor and to deglaze the pan.

The base is usually topped with a crouton, which will be very dry and crusty to allow it to withstand lying on the soup surface while baked or broiled with cheese melting on top. In some instances, a slice of toasted bread can also be used. The soup is then served in the bowl or ramekin in which it was broiled or baked.

You will need the following;

Bag of seasoned croutons,

1 cup dry red wine

2 14 ½ oz cans beef broth

½ stick of butter

2 large sweet onions thinly sliced

Shredded Swiss cheese

¼ cup brandy

In a large pot heat the butter over medium heat and add the onions. Cook stirring occasionally, they will become translucent and soft, continue to stir until the onions start to brown.

Add the Brandy and deglaze the pan. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Pour in the beef broth lower the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Season with pepper.

Preheat the broiler

Divide the soup among your individual oven resistant bowls

Top each one with croutons and cheese broil until brown and bubbling.

I served this with a nice salad, alone it is not a complete meal, but a frisee and arugula salad really rounds it out!


I hope you enjoyed this recipe and use it.  Should you want to contact me you can do so at

Bon Appétit



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