French onion soup is a simple, rustic and delicious dish. It's one of my favorites. Is it an easy French onion soup recipe? It takes a bit of time to make, it is so worth it. I've often pleaded with my French friend to give me his recipe, but he is not budging.
You see, he is a French chef and VERY protective of his French recipes, especially this one for some reason. Oh well, c'est la vie! The recipe for French onion soup I am sharing with you today is my son Adam's recipe. He's been dying to contribute a recipe to my blog for a long time, and here's his chance. Adam works at a country club where according to him the chef "makes the best French onion soup in the world." Like my French friend, his boss is not giving up the recipe either.
Anyhow, through keen observation, Adam has developed his own recipe and is very proud of his creation. I wasn't even allowed in the kitchen to suggest or help! I must say, he did a FANTASTIC job! Adam is also very excited to be entering culinary school this coming Fall. He now has, as of this post, a published recipe! How cool is that!
French onion soup origins
Apparently, French onion soup dates back to antiquity. The Greeks and the Romans enjoyed a soup made with cooked onions tossed in a broth. At some point in time, the French decided that the onions should be caramelized to bring out their natural sweetness. Good idea!
Tips for making French onion soup
To top things off, Gruyere and toasted bread and broiled in the oven. Now you are talking! The cognac is added at the very end (right before the broiling). Onions, just like garlic, shallots and leeks, are part of the Allium family. Among the members of this botanical family, onions have the strongest taste. Caramelizing them softens and sweetens the taste.
I am very proud of my French heritage and its amazing foods. French food is not complicated as most people think. In fact, most French food that a family eats on any given night is simple, genuine and oh so flavorful. The key? Fresh ingredients of course.
Step by Step Photos
- Gather all your ingredient and have them measured, chopped and ready to go. The French call this "mise en place" or everything in place to get ready to prepare a dish.
- Ina large bowl place the onions and shallots then sprinkle them with flour, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
- In a large Dutch oven or stock pot heat on medium and butter. Once melted add the onions and shallot mixture then add the sugar. Cook the onions until they have a nice brown caramelization. Stir them frequently to ensure even cooking.
- Add the beef stock, wine, thyme, bay leaves, oregano and garlic. Cook for 30 minutes on medium-low.
- Add the cognac and Worcestershire. Stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes
- Ladle the soup into oven save bowls, place slices of baguette on to then sprinkle with grated Gruyere. Place under the broiler in the oven until the cheese browns nicely.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Yes, you must completely cool the soup before freezing. Store in airtight containers for up to one month. For single servings, freeze portions in a muffin tin and pop out the frozen rounds and store in freezer bags.
French Onion Soup Recipe
Here an easy recipe developed by my son Adam with rich aromatic her flavors. The onions are sweet and caramelized to make a really delicious broth. This dish also has an interesting food history.
- 3 onions medium, sliced
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 6 cups beef stock
- 2 garlic cloves miced
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 4 sprigs thyme fresh, tied with kitchen twine
- 2 tsp oregano
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 oz. cognac
- 1 dash nutmeg
- 1 cup Gruyere shredded
- 1 baguette sliced and toasted
- Place onions in a medium sized bowl. Sprinkle with flour, pepper and salt.
- In a medium stock pot melt the butter and add the onions. Toss onions in the butter until they are translucent. Add the sugar.
- Turn heat to low and cover. Cook until onions are caramelized (a brown color). This will take about 45 minutes. Move onions around frequently to ensure even cooking.
- Add the stock,wine, thyme, bay leaves, oregano, and garlic. Cook for about 30 minutes on low.
- Turn off heat. Add cognac and nutmeg. Stir and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
- Portion into oven safe bowls.
- Place toasted slices of baguette on top of the soup. Sprinkle liberally with Gruyere.
- Place under the broiler until the cheese begins to sizzle. Enjoy!
Originally published April 2015 and updated October 2021.