A Month of Soups: French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is easy to make at home, and is frugal and delicious!

January is National Month of Soup, and what could be better than a warm, hearty soup on a cold winter's day? Let's continue this series with French onion soup. As one of my daughters says, "this is the easiest thing ever!"

French onion soup really is simple to make. Basically you cook the onions, then add the beef broth and seasonings and simmer. This soup is famous for the slice of French bread in each bowl, topped with melted swiss cheese.

Here are the how-to's:

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan.

Add two onions, thinly sliced. Sauté the onions on medium high heat. Cook until well-browned but be careful not to burn them. This will take about 30 minutes.

This is how they looked after ten minutes. I added a half teaspoon of sugar at this point to help them caramelize, but it's optional.

After twenty minutes, here's how they looked. They were beginning to brown, so I started stirring them almost constantly to keep them from burning.

This is after thirty minutes.

When the onions are well-caramelized, add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute or two. Add the Worchestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, spices (except the salt and pepper) and beef broth and stir. Simmer for another 30 minutes and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Place a slice of French bread in each bowl - I toast it first - and top with a slice of Gruyere or Swiss cheese, then ladle the soup into the bowl. The bread and cheese should rise to the top.

Most recipes will tell you to put the bowls under the broiler, but I don't have any bowls that will withstand that sort of heat, although I admit the soup is amazing when you can do that! So...

I let the hot soup and the toasted bread melt it for me. It does take a few minutes. Sometimes if my oven is warm from cooking something else, I'll set the bowls in the oven and hurry along the process a bit. This method isn't quite the same, and the visual of the melted-under-the-broiler soup is definitely more impressive, but it tastes just as good. The toast soaks up the soup, and combined with the melted cheese... Yum!

If you know how to make beef broth at home, this soup is a very frugal bowl of deliciousness; the price of two onions and some cheese gives you a hearty, flavorful meal.

French Onion Soup

2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 quarts beef stock
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

sliced French bread
Gruyere or Swiss cheese, sliced

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add the onions and saute over medium high heat until well-caramelized, taking care to not let them burn. After ten minutes, add sugar to help them caramelize (optional). When well-browned, add the garlic and saute for an additional minute or two.

Add the remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper) and stir. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.

Place a slice of French bread and a slice of cheese in each bowl; ladle soup into bowls. Place bowls under broiler until cheese is melted.

I hope you'll give this a try!

The Month of Soups collection:
Cream of Asparagus Soup
Spilt Pea Soup
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Ham and Bean Soup
White Bean Tortellini Soup
Roasted Tomato Soup
Chicken and Mushroom Soup
Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
French Onion Soup
Albondigas Soup


French onion soup is so easy to make at home, and is frugal and delicious!

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


Click Here to like Oak Hill Homestead on Facebook


  1. I keep a little torch in the kitchen for caramelizing sugar....it would be great for using on the top of this to melt the cheese in. You can direct the heat away from the bowl so no worries there.

  2. That's a great idea. Where would I find one of these handy items?

  3. I also have a smallish blow torch, that I use for stuff like this & creme brulee lol - even toasting the occasional marshmallow. They are inexpensive, & easy to use. And you can pick them up at pretty much any hardware store worth its salt. Mine is kind of like a cap, that sits atop a can of propane.

    Being on a farm, out in the boonies, with high wounds & freezing temperatures, this is something worth having. It can help loosen stuck nuts & bolts, , open up frozen locks (like a frozen padlock) for tempering metals, etc.
    Ooh, how I love me some good gruyere...
    Good n bless & keep you!

    1. I live on a farm too and this is well worth it's weight in salt! Especially in the winter time. We have two gates to go through just to get to our house and when it rains and is cold they tend to freeze with about 2 inches if ice and my little handy torch melts the ice in a snap.

  4. Thank you, Carla... ok, adding hardware store to my errand list... You've both convinced me this is a good thing to have around.

  5. Mmmmmm......I LOVE French Onion Soup. :) Looks delicious.

  6. Anonymous11:27 AM

    Pinned! Love soup.

  7. French onion is my favorite! Visiting from Tuesdays with a twist :)

  8. I never knew this soup was so easy to make. It is one of my favorites. I use it all the time in recipes and love having it for lunch especially on cold snowy days. I will try my hand at making a pot soon.

    1. It's so good it seems like it should be much involved to make, doesn't it?

  9. One if my favorites also, I just didn't know how to make it! I love soup, adding this to the rotation!!!!!

    1. I'm so glad that now you can make it yourself, Joy! Isn't it amazing how many dishes seem so complicated (or maybe we never even thought about making it ourselves), and then we find out they're really quite easy? I hope you enjoy this!

  10. My husband mentioned wanting to make french onion soup. Thanks for the recipe. :) I'll pass it on to him.

  11. Hi Kathi,
    I thought French Onion soup was complicated. This is a no brainer! I am going to make it this week. Your making me hungry;) Miss you on the hop. So glad you are still posting with us & going to stay in touch. I love your blog!
    Blessings, Dash


Thank you for stopping by. I hope you will leave a comment - I would love to hear from you. If you wish to email me instead, please click here. Thank you!