French onion soup

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 55 mins


Serves 4
A deeply savoury soup to use up a garden glut, make sure you caramelise your onions so they're really rich and tender

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal618
  • fat27g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs59g
  • sugars17g
  • fibre9g
  • protein26g
  • salt2.6g
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  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1kg onion, halved and thinly sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tsp sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 4 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 1.3l hot strongly-flavoured beef stock
  • 4-8 slices French bread (depending on size)
  • 140g Gruyère, finely grated



    Gruyère is an undoubted pinnacle of traditional Swiss cheese-making, a culinary masterpiece as…


  1. Melt the butter with the oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the onions and fry with the lid on for 10 mins until soft. Sprinkle in the sugar and cook for 20 mins more, stirring frequently, until caramelised. The onions should be really golden, full of flavour and soft when pinched between your fingers. Take care towards the end to ensure that they don’t burn.

  2. Add the garlic for the final few mins of the onions’ cooking time, then sprinkle in the flour and stir well. Increase the heat and keep stirring as you gradually add the wine, followed by the hot stock. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins.

  3. To serve, turn on the grill, and toast the bread. Ladle the soup into heatproof bowls. Put a slice or two of toast on top of the bowls of soup, and pile on the cheese. Grill until melted. Alternatively, you can complete the toasts under the grill, then serve them on top.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (20)

Mandy Bea's picture

I have just made this soup and it was so tasty will be making it again. I topped it with bread but I didn't have the right cheese but the cheese I used worked just as good

jofranks's picture

I've used this recipe a few times now with a couple of alterations. Sometimes I add a big slosh of ruby port which provides a slightly sweet taste that works well (in my view). Another time I blended half of the soup and added it to the original soup mixture. This proved a natural thickener so the next time I was able to reduce the amount of flour added. Overall a super recipe.

jburton's picture

I'm going to make this using my spiralizer should cut down the onion prep to practially nothing

HV1's picture

Oh dear. It takes seconds to slice onions. You will end up with water.

mrennie7's picture

Made this today, it was relatively straight forward and went down a treat.

If i wanted to double the quantity is it as simple as just doubling the whole recipe/ingredients? Or would it be more selective doubling?

ninap15's picture

Great recipe. Followed it to a tee.

Hampshirecook's picture

Made this exactly as per recipe. Utterly divine. I toast the cheesy french bread crutons under the grill and then float on top of the soup bowls as I think it is too dangerous to grill a full soup bowl at eye height and just not necessary, it adds nothing to the dish to do it that way. It does take a while to carmelize the onions and looks like an alarming amount in the pan until they all melt into golden wonderfullness.

poboy's picture

Does this keep? Can it be chilled and kept in the fridge or frozen and kept for longer?

jessicarichardson's picture

This soup takes a while to make, but it's easy, and tastes delicious. Give it a go!

suzbailey's picture

I made this using 3 Tesco beef stock cubes as they were the only ones I could find suitable for coeliacs, unfortunately they gave a different flavour to what I was aiming for. I'll try it again with veg stock and if I'm still not happy my niece will have to do without and I'll make it with a good quality beef stock pot. This is for the starter for Christmas Day dinner.

Jellybeans9's picture

The wine really makes the difference!

I've never made french onion soup before, but having it at someone else's house reminded me just how much I love it. It was very easy and simple to make. Yes it does take time for the onions to caramelise, but the end result is worth it! Delicious :)

I didn't quite use 1kg of onions, and pretty much guessed with the wine and stock. I almost omitted the wine for thinking I didn't have any, and it tasted fine, but when I eventually found some, it really gave it that onion soup taste. Will definitely make this again.

lieann's picture

Very tasty soup. Used 1.5kg onion. 2L of stock with 2 Knorr rich beef stock pots and 1 garlic clove and flavour was perfect. Took about 30 minutes to caramelise the onions. Lovely with the Gruyere cheese bread. Very filling and gone within minutes!

Gordwilson's picture

Leave out the flour, makes a better soup in my opinion

C Glasgow's picture

My husband is a huge fan of French Onion Soup and raved about this when he tasted it. First time I've ever made it and it was really easy. Take the lid off to caramelise the onions after adding the sugar (I read this tip in the questions section of this recipe). I used 3 Knorr rich beef stock pots and it was perfect. Really rich and delicious.

251318's picture

Lovely soup and very easy to make especially if you get husband to peel and chop onions ! I added a dollop of hp Guinness sauce and the result was really tasty have only just joined site as was so impressed with this dish. I used cheddar on the toast prob more calories but it is Sunday and a thunderstorm was only excuse required

Archive Guy's picture
5 works for me. I added extra thyme and vegetable stock instead of beef. Still great!

vossisboss's picture

I made this soup and my French nephew who never had it before loved it....... speaks for itself I guess. Very wholesome soup

luckyjc's picture

This was lovely, just right for a cold winter night. The onions took a LOT longer to caramelise though - never mind 20 minutes, took at least an hour, so worth bearing in mind when planning timing. Don't know how you could get them to do it in 20 minutes!

ensharp's picture

Love this, exactly as I hoped it would taste. We used 7 stock cubes which was just right. And swapped gruyere for a mix of mature cheddar and Wensleydale. And don't forget to use slightly stale bread, it always makes much better toast to sit on the soup.

susieone's picture

This was the first time I'd ever made French onion soup, but having a lot of onions and a machine to slice them, I had no excuse!! I made it almost to the recipe, although I didn't have French bread so I used paninis instead. Very good substitute!!! I also only had an organic beef stock cube. My DB thought this soup was wonderful, so I shall be making it again.

Questions (6)

kfurber's picture

Is this recipe suitable for home freezing? If not, how far in advance of a special meal can this be made?

amcookie's picture

Would using non-alcoholic wine be an appropriate substitute for the white wine in this recipe? If not, what would be?

goodfoodteam's picture

Yes using non-alcoholic wine would be a great subtitiute. Leave the pan uncovered once the sugar has been added, thanks.

evarb's picture

Great recipe thank you, just unsure whether should recover pan after adding sugar in step 1?

Kbell's picture

Does the wine not need reduced before adding the stock to get rid of the raw alcohol flavour?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there,

The red wine in this recipe gives the soup a great flavour. However, if you want to reduce it before and burn off some of the alcohol then go ahead. 

Best wishes. 

Tips (1)

Ifstar's picture

Great recipe, followed it exactly. Make sure you have a huge pot! I would say this was for more than 4 people, next time I'll halve the recipe to avoid wastage as I was serving it as a starter not a main meal.