Go Back
+ servings
white bowl
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

French Onion Soup

Carmelized Onions
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Keyword: crouton, onion, swiss cheese
Servings: 4


  • 4-5 large yellow onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbs fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup cognac or brandy
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 4 large slices of baguette or sourdough
  • 1 ½ cups shredded gruyere
  • salt and pepper


  • Slice onions, mince garlic, pull thyme off the stems.
  • In a large pot or dutch oven (my preference) heat to medium and add 3 tablespoons of butter.
  • Once the butter has melted and bubbled, add the onions, stirring to coat.
  • After a couple minutes, add the garlic. Now, be patient. Keep an eye on the onions and occasionally stir. The onions will shrink down and start to caramelize. This is a slow and happy process. If you stir too often, the onions will not release its sugar or brown. (see pics below).
  • After 20 minutes, the onions should be golden brown and soft. Increase to heat to medium-high and add the cognac and thyme. Stir well to deglaze the pot.
  • Next, add the beef broth. I prefer Better Than Bouillon for its depth of flavor in this soup.
  • Bring the soup up to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • While the soup is simmering, make your croutons. I like bite size croutons vs one large piece of bread because I think it’s easier to eat that way. Dice your bread and heat a large skillet on medium. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add bread cubes. Lightly salt and stir continuously until all the croutons are evenly toasted and golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • After the soup has simmered and reduced a little, give it a taste to check the salt. It may not need any because the beef broth has quite a bit, but check to be sure and adjust salt or pepper if necessary.
  • This last step can be done two different ways. Option 1) ladle soup into oven safe bowls. Top each serving with croutons and a large handful of shredded gruyere. Move your top oven rack to a height where your bowls will fit under broiler on a sheet pan. Set broiler to low. Place your assembled soup bowls on a sheet pan and put under the broiler. Keep an eye on it and watch as the cheese melts, bubbles, and browns. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes. They will be screaming hot. Option 2) assemble soup servings as mentioned above. Use a kitchen blow torch to melt and brown the cheese until golden brown and bubbling. (Also, blow torches are cool)