suggested video
suggested video

French Onion Soup: the Original Recipe for the Rich, Classic French Dish

Total time: 10 min. / 70 min. cooking
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Onion soup, or soupe à l'oignon, is a symbolic main course of French cuisine, made with a very few ingredients: white or golden onions, butter, flour and broth (either vegetable or meat). Creamy, enveloping and super tasty, in the traditional version it is gratinated in individual casseroles together with slices of toasted bread and cheese of your choice between Emmental and Gruyere.

Born as a poor dish of the peasant tradition, French onion soup is now famous all over the world, and it couldn't be otherwise: despite the simplicity of its ingredients, it is a dish rich in flavor which combines the softness of the onions, the crunchiness of the bread and the meltability of the cheese, for a combination of textures capable of conquering even the most demanding palates.

By virtue of its popularity, onion soup has often been revisited in a gourmet key by world-famous chefs, but we offer you the original French recipe, easy to prepare and delicious. We naturally start from the protagonists of the dish, which are flavored with oil, butter and bay leaves and then gently cooked with boiling broth. Once reduced to a cream, they are transferred into individual cocottes, garnished with previously toasted slices of bread and Emmental and grilled in the oven for a few minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese.

The addition of a spoonful of flour and a pinch of sugar and, above all, slow cooking ensure a creamy and delicate onion soup, while gratinating it in the oven makes it truly irresistible. Find out how to prepare it following the step-by-step procedure and advice: it is perfect to serve, paired with a glass of still white wine, for any family lunch or dinner.

For the soup
White or golden onions
600 grams
vegetable or beef broth
1 L
50 grams
00 flour
30 grams
Extra virgin olive oil
5 grams
1 leaf
as much as you need
as much as you need
For grating in the oven
Emmental cheese or gruyère cheese
100 grams
Baguette bread
2 small

How to Prepare Onion Soup

Begin preparing the onion soup by peeling and thinly slicing the onions on a cutting board. To avoid tears while cutting, we suggest you wet the knife or keep the onions in the freezer for half an hour before cutting them.

In a large saucepan, combine the oil, bay leaf and butter, then let it melt gently.

As soon as the butter has melted, transfer the onions to the pan, add salt and let them dry on a low heat, covered with a lid, for about 20 minutes.

When the onions have caramelized, add the flour and sugar, mix with a wooden ladle and leave for another two minutes. Then pour in the vegetable broth, little at a time and constantly stirring, then cover again with the lid and continue cooking on a low heat for 50 minutes. When finished, the onions should be soft, almost falling apart; if this is not the case, extend the cooking time by a few minutes. If necessary, add salt and pepper.

Now prepare the croutons: cut the bread into slices, place them on a baking tray and toast them in the oven at 392°F/200°C until golden.

At this point, distribute the soup into the individual casseroles, arrange the slices of toasted bread on the surface and sprinkle them with the grated Emmental. Grill under the oven grill until the cheese has melted, it will take a few minutes.

The onion soup is ready; bring to the table and serve while still hot.


We used Emmental cheese, but if you prefer you can replace it with Gruyere, Fontina or another cheese of your liking. Instead of bay leaves, or even in addition, you can use fresh thyme instead.

To make them tastier, you can blend the onions with half a glass of white wine immediately before pouring in the broth.

The onion soup, not au gratin, can be kept in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for a maximum of 2 days; just before serving it, garnish it with toasted bread and cheese and put it in the oven.

Every dish has a story
Find out more on Cookist social networks
api url views