Layers of lightly caramelized onions swim in a beef broth for an easy Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée - French Onion Soup that is also budget friendly. Have you ever made French Onion Soup before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
In fact, this soup doesn’t require a lot of effort or time spent hovering over a hot stove. Once those onions are in the pot, you’ll be stirring intermittently until adding the broth and wine. Giving you time to get back to whatever you’re doing while the soup does it’s thing for 30 minutes.
Why you’ll love this
The most time intensive part of the process might just be cutting the onions, but once they’re done, you let your stove top do the rest of the work making this a really low effort dish.
The wine and beef broth in the soup give a depth and savoriness that makes this a real full meal perfect for serving as is without any accompaniments.
That cheesy topping
No French Onion Soup would be complete without the thick slices of bread topped with melty cheese and sprinkle of thyme which adds to the soup and is like a giant cheesy crouton.
Easy to batch make
Because you only need a handful of ingredients for the soup, it is ideal to double the batch or even triple to make this into a dish for more than one meal.
Ingredients and substitutions for French Onion Soup
- Onions: Brown onions were used here, though white onions would also work here to create a soup as found in France. Red onions would create a slightly sweeter undertone to the soup here because of their natural slightly more sweet flavor profile, even in raw form.
- Flour: Flour helps to coat the onions to thicken the soup once the liquid is added to the soup. If you are gluten free, simply replace with cornstarch / cornflour in equal measure to achieve the same results.
- Butter: Salted butter was used here, though unsalted works a charm too. The quantity of butter in this recipe is so small that using non dairy butter also works fine here.
- White wine: Dry white wine works best here to help add a depth of flavor to the soup and cooks long enough that none of the alcohol remains, but a slight tart undertone does that compliments the onions perfectly. Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc work well here.
- Beef broth: Lots of traditional recipes will use one of 2 soup stocks to make this soup, either beef or chicken. Beef broth helps create a real savoriness to the soup. If you want to make this meatless, replace the stock with vegetable and add in 1 teaspoon (or 2-3 teaspoons, to your taste preference) of balsamic vinegar to give depth of flavor that also helps replicate a traditional French Onion Soup.
- Gruyere cheese: The flavor profile of Gruyère is sweet but also slightly salty, which means it compliments the soft cooked onion flavors perfectly. It also melts into a gooey beautiful texture to give a great indulgent top to your soup. If you cannot source Gruyère, you can replace in equal measure with Emmental, Comtè or Swiss cheese in equal measure.
- Thyme: Thyme is a beloved herb in France and many recipes use it, the sprinkle of Thyme on top of the soup adds great flavor that it is recommended not to omit here.
See recipe card for quantities.
Equipment needed to make this
Mandolin or large knife: The best way to finely chop your onions is with a mandolin that can slice ⅛ thickness, not too thin, but not too thick. Otherwise a large trusty knife works too.
Heavy pot: The soup cooks in a large pot so you’ll need one large enough to serve 4 people.
Ladle: To ladle into your bowl when serving up.
Grater: The best way to serve up your soup is to grate the cheese just prior to using a grill or broiler to get it nice and evenly melted.
FAQ’s for the best French Onion Soup
Can I make Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée - French Onion Soup without wine?
Absolutely! In fact, most recipes won’t call for wine, however, after reading many comments from French readers, several recommended dry white wine. The alcohol will cook off, due to the length of time this is cooked for, however, you can simply add 1 more cup of broth to omit any alcohol.
Should French onion soup be thick or thin?
Due to the fact there is minimal flour in the broth, you’ll find it thin, but a spoonful of soup should have a lot of onions which makes the overall texture much thicker than a simple broth.
How do I thicken French onion soup?
If you want the broth to thicken in your French Onion Soup, simply add a further 8 grams / 1 tablespoon of cornflour or flour to the onions before you add your broth. Or add the additional flour or cornflour into a small bowl and ladle 2 - 3 teaspoons of broth into the bowl to make a slurry that you can pour directly into the soup for the last 5 minutes of cooking. This is essential to thickening your soup with a thickener, as simply adding a tablespoon directly to your soup will clump on the surface as it cooks.
What can I use instead of Gruyère in French onion soup?
The flavor profile of Gruyère is sweet but also slightly salty and also melts beautifully, so the best substitute should give you a similar flavor and melty texture. If you cannot source Gruyère, you can replace in equal measure with Emmental, Comtè or Swiss cheese in equal measure. This website helps provide more replacements for Gruyere.
More soups you’ll love
How to make French Onion Soup:
Thinly slice the onions in rings and set aside.
Place the butter into a heavy based frying pan on medium low heat and toss in all the onions.
Cook until they are golden brown, approximately 15 minutes.
Toss in the flour and salt and stir to coat.
Pour in the broth and wine and cover, cooking for 30 minutes.
Ladle the soup into 4 ovenproof bowls and lay 1 slice of the farmhouse bread on top of each.
Sprinkle the grated cheese over and place under the broiler or grill until melted and bubbling.
Serve immediately with a sprinkle of thyme on top and season to your taste.
Slices of onions swim in a beef broth that includes wine for a real authentic flavor in this French Onion Soup recipe that is fuss free and doesn't take long to make.
6 large or 9 medium onions, peeled
20 grams / 1 ½ tablespoons butter
8 grams / 1 tablespoon plain flour
250 milliliters / 1 cup dry white wine
709 milliliters / 3 cups beef broth
100 grams / 3.5 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
4 slices thick farmhouse bread
Thyme, to garnish
- Thinly slice the onions in rings and set aside.
- Place the butter into a heavy based frying pan on medium low heat and toss in all the onions.
- Cook until they are golden brown, approximately 15 minutes.
- Toss in the flour and salt and stir to coat.
- Pour in the broth and wine and cover, cooking for 30 minutes.
- Ladle the soup into 4 ovenproof bowls and lay 1 slice of the farmhouse bread on top of each.
- Sprinkle the grated cheese over and place under the broiler or grill until melted and bubbling.
- Serve immediately with a sprinkle of thyme on top and season to your taste.
- Dig in.
Adapted from Cuisine Actuelle
- Calories: 437 calories per serve
Keywords: french cooking, soup