Homemade French Onion Soup


French cuisine warms every heart with the depth of flavors. The fresh ingredients are fundamental to it being loved by travelers from all over the world. A cup of warm and relaxing French onion soup is one of the most delicious soups in the world to enjoy in winter chills.

This French soup, or soupe à l’ognion originated as a simple peasant dish in the Lyon region around the 18th century. It uses stale bread, beef stock, wine, cheese, and caramelized onion, giving an intense savory flavor with sweet notes. Later, the modern versions of it came out with more prominent flavors. The soup can also be eaten. It is super simple to prepare, follow the recipe, and Voila! You end with a cup of deliciousness in your hand.

French onion soup ingredients

Yellow onion 5 No.s

Butter/ Olive oil ¼ cup

Beef stock 3 ½ cup

Sherry 2 tbsp

White wine 2 tbsp

Baguette croutons 4 slices

Flour 1 tbsp

Gruyere Cheese 1 cup

Parmesan cheese   1 cup

Kosher Salt 1 ½ tsp

Thyme ½ tsp

Bay leaf 1 no.

Black Pepper ½ tsp

And last but not least, the secret ingredient for a perfect French onion soup is time.

Method to prepare

  • Slice the onions and caramelize them in a heavy saucepan. Heat the fat in the pan over high heat. Add the onions to this and stir to smear them with the butter or oil from all sides. Let it cook covered for about five minutes. This will pull out moisture from the onions.
  • Lower the heat and add salt, pepper, and bay leaf. You can adjust the seasoning later.
  • Cook the onions further until they turn into beautiful medium-brown and caramelized.
  • Add a little flour to the onions and stir well to avoid burning it.
  • Once the flour coats the onion well, add the wine and sherry. Add the beef broth to the reduced alcohol. Simmer the broth for about 1 hour or more.

Layering the soup

Layering the onion soup is equally important. To prep for serving, toast the baguette slices.

Ladle soup into broiler-safe bowls. Top each with the toasted bread slices, topping with grated gruyere cheese and a layer of Parmesan cheese. Slide it into the oven to cook for another 15 minutes. When the cheese turns slightly brown and bubbles up, remove the bowls.

Your French onion soup is ready to serve.

Tricks to enjoy the French onion soup

  • White onions taste sour, so if you use white onions, consider mixing them with sweeter-tasting red and yellow onions.
  • Adding wine to soup gently cooks, adds flavor and moisture.
  • You can substitute wine with 3 Tablespoons of white or apple cider vinegar and chicken or beef broth each.
  • Spices are a key to the flavor profile of soups. A good amount of seasoning brings out the authentic flavors. Add traditional herbs like thyme and bay leaves while simmering.
  • The traditional recipe uses Swiss cheeses with strong aromas like Comté or Gruyère.
  • Any of the brandy, sherry, cognac, or wine can be used to enhance the soup’s flavor profile.
  • The liquor complimenting the beef broth balances the sweetness of caramelized onions with their savory notes.
  • You can refrigerate your French onion soup for 3 to 4 days as it stays good by then.

French onion soup trivia

  • French onion soup is used as a cure for hangovers.
  • Two theories run behind the origin of French onion soup. According to the first theory, King Louis XV invented it when he felt hungry at his hunting lodge. The second theory suggests that Stanislas Leszczynski, Duke of Lorraine and father of the Queen of France, was fascinated by the dish and brought it to the Palace of Versailles.
  • The French onion soup is a delicious recipe from Parisian cuisine that can be served as a first-course meal.
  • It is also known as Drunkards’ soup for its effectiveness in hiding the smell of drinks in those consumed.

French Lemon Tart is another classic favorite you must try this holiday season.

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