January 6, 2011

French Onion Soup

When my parents used to have company over, they often used to make French Onion soup. My dad made it in these old brown bowls with handles and he would drape puff pastry over it before putting it in the oven, creating this lovely crust on top where, once you punctured it, you would find a soup of rich broth, caramelized onions and melted swiss cheese. 

Without those beautiful oven safe bowls, I had to find another way to make a French Onion soup. I made the base the same way -- by cooking a variety of onions for nearly an hour and adding beef stock -- but then I toasted french loaf and melted swiss cheese on it and dropped two of them in my soup. Delicious! Necessity is the mother of invention, isn't it? Or, is it hunger?

French Onion Soup
Serves 6-8
Printable Recipe

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups sliced onions (I used two regular, 1 spanish and 1 white)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 slices French bread
  • 12 slices swiss cheese

  • Melt butter with olive oil in large pot on medium heat. Add onions, stirring occasionally until onions become tender and carmelized, about 45 minutes.
  • Add the beef broth, red wine and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with the slices of French bread. Toast the bread slightly for about 4 minutes, then add slices of swiss cheese and turn broiler on until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 3 minutes.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and add two slices of cheese bread. Serve.


  1. Lindsay, This French Onion Soup looks fantastic! I've never made onion soup before, but my family loves it!

  2. I just love French onion soup and yours looks really delicious! We're expecting snow and ice this weekend in Georgia so it would be a perfect time to stay in with a big bowl of this.

  3. Oh, heavens this looks good! I've never been entirely satisfied with the French onion soups I've made in the past, but this recipe looks like I doozy. In light of my love of browned onions and tendency to taste dishes WAY too much while I'm cooking, I think I'll toss in an extra onion so I don't come up short. Otherwise, this looks just about perfect. Kudos to your dad too!

  4. Hi Lindsay, it's great to "meet" you here! I love your blog!!! So many great photos and recipes. Very anxious to reading through more. Your soup recipes look amazing. Have a great weekend!

  5. I have never made French Onion Soup before! It looks delicious and I love your blog....

  6. What a scrumptious bowl of soup! French onion is a favorite here and I love your addition of red wine. This is a tummy warmer for sure.

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog. And I appreciate your lovely comment. Now I'm off to read some of your back posts. Lovely blog.

  7. I adore the onion soup! Red wine is a nice touch. :-))
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. I am crazy for French Onion Soup! The cheese bread on top is an awesome idea! :)

  9. This looks amazing - I love making french onion soup but have never tried the red wine. Will have to give it a go! Thanks for stopping by my blog - with four kids and lots of sports schedules to juggle, I am planning to add a weekly installment of quickie dinner shortcuts so I'll hope you'll come back by :)

  10. I will have to make this TODAY! I can't wait, it looks amazing!

  11. Agh - LOVE those old bowls with the handles... This looks like a truly special French Onion soup. SO cozy and inviting - the red wine seals the deal for me! Putting this on my must tries. Thanks for sharing!

  12. This is one of my favorite soups and I have tried to make it several times - but haven't made one of my own that I really, really like. I'll have to try this recipe out b/c it sounds super yummy. I've never used Thyme in it before.



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