Soupe à l’Oignon (French Onion Soup)

This famous recipe may have been originated as a humble peasant dish centuries ago. Today, the French onion soup is regarded as one of the most prized dishes of the French cuisine. Despite the apparent simplicity of its ingredients, the process is a precise combination of steps and cooking methods.

Perhaps, the most distinctive characteristics of this soup are the croûtes–pieces of crispy baked bread placed on top of the soup and then generously covered with cheese. The latter is then allowed to melt in the oven making the top turning into a delicious golden crust.   

Soupe à l’Oignon (French Onion Soup)
  • DifficultyMedium
  • CostMedium
  • Preparation time20 Minutes
  • Cooking time1 Hour 10 Minutes
  • Servingserves 4 people
  • Cooking methodStove
  • CuisineFrench


  • 1000 mlbeef broth gravy
  • 800 gonion (golden, red or a mix of the two)
  • 250 gGruyère cheese
  • 50 gpure salted butter
  • 3 spoonsextra virgin olive oil
  • 2 slicesstale bread (Italian durum wheat or Maltese traditional bread)
  • 2 clovesgarlic (optional)
  • 1 spoonwhite flour (type 0)
  • 1 teaspoondark muscovado brown sugar
  • 1 pinchtable salt
  • 1 bouquetfresh chives
  • 1/2 glassPorto wine
  • 1 sprigfresh thyme


  1. – peel the onions, cut them in half and slice them;

    – put the butter and the extra virgin oil in a saucepan over medium heat;

    – as soon as the butter melts, add the onions;

    – mix well, close the saucepan with its lid and reduce the heat to minimum;

    – let the onions stew in their cooking liquid (it will take about 20 minutes);

    – in the meantime, heat the broth in a separate pan adding the thyme to it;

    as soon as the onions are stewed, remove the lid and add the sugar;

    – raise the heat and stir constantly to prevent the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan until they are caramelized;

    – blend in with the port;

    – sift the flour onto the onions and mix well to prevent lumps from forming;

    – add the broth and cook for another 15/20 minutes;

    – in the meantime, put the slices of bread under the oven grill to make them brown, then cut them into cubes;

    – if you also want to use garlic, then rub it on the toasted slices before cutting them;

    – as soon as the soup begins to thicken, cook for another 10 minutes and then pour it into 4 single-portion oven-safe soup bowls;

    – semi-dip the cubes of roasted bread into the soup;

    – grate abundant cheese to cover generously the soup;

    – put the bowls under the oven grill for about 10 minutes or until the cheese melts to form a golden crust;

    – serve topped with chopped fresh chives;

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