French onion soup in two bowls with onions

French onion soup

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(68 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

  • soup only

Nutrition: per serving

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



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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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12th Nov, 2014
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!
6th Nov, 2014
Leave out the flour, makes a better soup in my opinion
C Glasgow
2nd Nov, 2014
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.
6th Jul, 2014
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
4th May, 2014
5.05 works for me. I added extra thyme and vegetable stock instead of beef. Still great!
15th Jan, 2014
I made this soup and my French nephew who never had it before loved it....... speaks for itself I guess. Very wholesome soup
15th Dec, 2013
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!
10th May, 2013
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.
19th Apr, 2013
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.


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