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Simple & Delicious French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup WM

French Onion Soup has always been related to high end restaurants in my mind.  I mean they make onions look good. The smell of the onions as they simmer down just turns into something so appealing for my nose that it’s hard for me to resist something I would normally run (or cry) from.  I realize now that it’s not necessarily all high end restaurants that carry French Onion Soup and that some of the best comes from the local mom and pop shop, but no matter who makes it my nose will seek it out.

I had never given French Onion soup a chance before because I always thought it would be hard or require a ton of extra ingredients.  Not sure why or what or I was thinking there but let me tell you with a little bit of time, some basic spices and a pile of onions you will be set. Nothing fancy around here but by the time you are done it will look like that bowl of soup you pay $5 for at a restaurant.  This recipe does make quite a bit though, however, French Onion soup freezes really well and is also a great base to crock pot a roast in.

The first part of cooking French Onion soup will bring tears to your eyes with how easy it really is but you have to slice up those onions and add them to the melted butter in your pan to caramelize.  I do all of this in my big stock-pot so I don’t have to dirty up any more dishes, but to each their own and if you would like to caramelize your onions in your saute pan and then transfer to a stock pot that is fine.  Remember I am all about less dishes though.

French Onion soup is easy to feed a crowd with by doubling or tripling this recipe, heck you could even octotuplet (making up words again here) for a huge party.  I’m not sure that I would broil the cheese and croutons at that point but it would be easy to let them dish out as much as they liked.  Smaller gatherings you could half this recipe pretty easy and have an intimate dinner for two with few leftovers.

The Cast For French Onion Soup

5 medium to large size sweet onions, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 cans of beef broth 14.5 ounces
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1/4 – 1/2  cup white wine to de-glaze pan (or chicken broth, sherry, apple cider)
1 Bay Leaf
1 cup shredded Guyere cheese or 8 -10 slices of Swiss cheese
20 croutons

Directions For French Onion Soup

1.  Melt butter in your stock-pan and add sliced sweet onions.  I know that looks like a pile of onions at this point but they will caramelize down to a small pile.  You need to cook your onions of medium to medium-high heat until they are browned but not burnt.  Usually around 45 minutes to get good caramelized onions and this is the basis for a good French Onion Soup.

2.  Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the caramelizing process to help get those onions good and brown.

3.  Now that your onions have that beautiful brown color to them you need to add the 1/4 cup white wine to de-glaze the pan and get all those good pieces of onion from the bottom of the pan.

4.  Add garlic powder, black pepper, bay leaf, beef broth and beef bouillon to your stock pot and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.  I generally let simmer for an hour to really let the flavors meld together.

5.  Taste test for the desired amount of salt, pepper and garlic at this point.  Usually my broth has plenty of salt and I like to have a small kick of pepper but those are all personal flavor choices.

6.  You can stop at this point you can pull out your bay leaf and discard.  You will have a good soup that didn’t require a ton of work, or a delicious base to cook roast or beef tips in.

7.  Pre-heat your broiler on high or your oven to 400 degrees.

8.  Spoon prepared French Onion Soup (don’t forget to pull out the bay leaf) into oven safe bowls and top with 2-3 croutons and a slice of Guyere or Swiss cheese.  Place your oven safe bowls on a cookie sheet and place under broiler or oven until your cheese is melted and bubbly.

For more awesome recipes check out 17 awesome cookie recipes, 24 crock pot recipes and strawberry cream cheese crescent bars.




  • SherryO

    Brandy, this sounds aMAZing – and you’re right about it always being served at the high-end places. Cannot wait to try this – pinned and ready! Found you through One Tipsy Chick’s 21 Amazing Soup Recipes collection.

    • Brandy

      Thank you for stopping by. It’s delicious and with the colder weather setting in we will be making more of this in our house. I make in huge batches and cook with it as well.

  • This is my FAVORITE soup!!
    We would love it if you would link up at our linky party:
    Two Girls and a Party
    Live every Wednesday to Sunday. Hosted by:
    Dana @ This Silly Girl’s Life
    Parrish @ Life with the Crust Cut Off
    We hope to see you there!

  • Oh, I adore French Onion Soup! You’re right — it’s always at the high-end restaurants, yet it’s such a simple recipe. Thanks for sharing yours!

    I’m here via “We Are That Family”, and wanted to invite you to join my How-To Tuesday link party, if you haven’t already. It’s open all week, and the entries are randomized, so everyone’s entry can make it to the top. It would be great to have you!

  • Ashley Christensen

    I love French Onion Soup! I would love it if you would come and link this up at my very first link party
    Dandelion Wishes Wednesday. I’m also pinning this 🙂

  • Michelle

    Recipe sounds great. You might want to use a good quality beef soup base instead of granules. I keep bases for chicken, ham and beef on hand. They seem to last forever without deteriorating and really add a depth of flavor. They are so much cheaper than the liquid stocks. Another thing I do is when onions are really on sale, I make up a large batch of caramelized onions and freeze them in small and large portions. Using them later gives a “cooked all day” taste. I do the same with bell peppers.

    • Brandy

      I love the tip about caramelizing them before freezing. That is the part that takes the longest. Glad to hear it doesn’t change the flavor at all and it will be a huge time-saver. I stick with the granules because it seems every base I try is really salty. I love salt but am trying my best to cut back and with the granules I can control it a little better. I do agree a good base gives great flavor though and will hunt for a low sodium brand.

  • Lena

    That would so be awesome for my lunch today instead of the take out from yesterday :))

  • Bre Dale

    It’s 8 am and that made my mouth water!

    • Brandy

      I love French Onion Soup and the marinating possibilities are endless with this recipe as well. I used two cups of it in the crock pot last week with a roast, one of the best recipes of the year.

  • Jenn @comebackmomma

    My hubby LOVES French Onion Soup. I will give him this recipe.


    Do you use a recipe plugin? You should!

    • Brandy

      I am looking into them now for readers to be able to print easier. It’s a toss up right now between Easy Recipes and Ziplist. Do you have one you recommend?


        I think easy recipe as if you eliminate the plugin, the recipe still stays. Not true with ziplist. Also, you can use Easy recipe with ziplist. That’s my opinion. It’s not just about printability. It’s the schema language it’s coded in.

  • Amber Edwards

    Here is the irony. I don’t like onions usually. And I’m not a big fan of soups. But man, a good french onion soup is delicious! Thank you for the recipe. I’m excited to give this one a try though!

    • Brandy

      I know the irony of not liking onions because I am not a huge fan of them either. Some things are ok and a light taste at that, but French Onion Soup is hard to beat!

  • JADE OF Diva Fabulosa

    I always wanted to make this, thanks for the recipe!

  • Krista

    Best soup ever! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Patty

    One of my favorite soups. This looks like an easy way to make it.

    • Brandy

      I agree about it being one of my favorite soups. I couldn’t believe how truly easy it was. I love using it for roasts in the crock pot as well. I make a big batch of it to freeze for a marinade (even for Ribeyes). Delicious!

  • Sounds fantastic, and easy which is even better! Pinned for reference… I know I’ll be making this next winter!

    • Brandy

      What a perfect winter night dinner. Filling and warms from the toes up. Hope you enjoy it!

  • MS Do

    You make that look easy! I love a good french onion soup myself! 🙂

    • Brandy

      I was shocked at how easy it really was to make. I had always avoided it because it just looked so “classy” and that meant hard in my mind.

  • Beth

    oh yum!! I’d love for you to come share it at the link party I am cohosting right now!

    Beth @ The First Year Blog