French onion soup in two bowls with onions

French onion soup

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(49 ratings)

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 cloves, 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 50g butter with 1 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add 1kg halved and thinly sliced onions and fry with the lid on for 10 mins until soft. 

  2. Sprinkle in 1 tsp 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.

  3. Add 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves for the final few mins of the onions’ cooking time, then sprinkle in 2 tbsp plain flour and stir well.

  4. Increase the heat and keep stirring as you gradually add 250ml dry white wine, followed by 1.3l hot strongly-flavoured beef stock. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins.

  5. To serve, turn on the grill, and toast 4-8 slices French bread. Ladle the soup into heatproof bowls.

  6. Put a slice or two of toast on top of the bowls of soup, and pile on 140g finely grated gruyère 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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28th Dec, 2018
This is a really awesome recipe! Advice is to be careful how strong you want the stock to be as it really flavours the soup (along with the wine). Fantastic recipe, will be making this again!
9th Nov, 2018
Didn't rate this. I WANTED it to work. I WANTED to love it. But, nah! :( Onions took forever to carmelise. Not sure if it's the stock I used (Heston Blumenthal beef stock from Waitrose) but there was absolutely NO depth of flavour. Had to add several Knorr Rich Beef Stock Pots.
25th Feb, 2018
Caramelisation certainly takes longer than 20 minutes. But I found that by turning the hot plate temperature up to number 5 (6 is "full" on our cooker), and stirring every 10-15 seconds, the water was driven off quicker, and caramelisation happened sooner.
26th Dec, 2017
The time given here is way out! Of course its all relative to the level of heat but the website's caramelised onion tips admit its a time-taking process and I found much longer than these timings.
18th Oct, 2017
Haven't tasted the soup yet but it smells gorgeous. That will see me in lunches for the rest of the week. Maybe a jacket potato will go down well with it for supper. :) I don't have any Baguette or Gruyére at the moment but the shop will be open in the morning. I love making soup and then eating it straight from the pan.. YUM! p.s. Just considering it for our Christmas Lunch starter...hmmmmm
13th Nov, 2017
It is quite filling especially if you then going to have full Christmas Lunch. However it is delicious.
20th Jul, 2017
Made this tonight with some white Spanish onions - this is a great base recipe. Make sure you do as the recipe says and really caramelise the onions - the difference it makes is night and day. Delicious - lovely savoury hit after a day at work!
16th Apr, 2017
Well, I don't know what I did wrong but it was just a saucepan full of sugar-water amid a kilo of wasted onions. That was until I added another stock cube, Worcester sauce an a pinch of cayenne pepper, and that was just to make it barely edible! I followed the recipe but it's very hard to caramelise onions with the lid on. They just steam.
Mandy Bea
24th Oct, 2016
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
jburton's picture
18th Apr, 2016
I'm going to make this using my spiralizer should cut down the onion prep to practially nothing


14th Dec, 2014
Is this recipe suitable for home freezing? If not, how far in advance of a special meal can this be made?
22nd Jul, 2014
Would using non-alcoholic wine be an appropriate substitute for the white wine in this recipe? If not, what would be?
goodfoodteam's picture
4th Aug, 2014
Yes using non-alcoholic wine would be a great subtitiute. Leave the pan uncovered once the sugar has been added, thanks.
28th Dec, 2013
Great recipe thank you, just unsure whether should recover pan after adding sugar in step 1?
14th Dec, 2013
Does the wine not need reduced before adding the stock to get rid of the raw alcohol flavour?
goodfoodteam's picture
18th Dec, 2013
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. 
Ruralcookkate's picture
15th Nov, 2018
I have made this recipe using a pressure cooker - it worked beautifully. I halved the recipe as well for 2 - there was plenty! For the pressure cooker it took about 3-5 mins for the first step (cooking with lid on- about 3 mins after got up to pressure) then cooked only for about 10-15mins to caremelise (lid off). For the final soup step with all ingredients in the pan after getting up to pressure I still cooked it for about 18mins but it could’ve been done quicker if I hadn’t put as much stock liquid in. (I used 700ml.)
Felix Thompson's picture
Felix Thompson
3rd Jan, 2018
If you're looking to make it veggie, but want to keep the flavour. Use vegetable stock, with two tea spoons of marmite (weird but it works!) and some lea and perrins. Gives it the same rich flavour
4th Jul, 2016
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.
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