French onion soup

french onion soup

Onion soup is a French institution. You cannot escape it if you come to France!

It’s delicious, it’s a very easy and affordable soup. In France, we use to eat it in fall and in winter (from october to march)

French onion soup history

French onion soup has always existed in Paris: Romans already used to eat it! The reason is quite simple: onions were and are still abundant and quite cheap… It was indeed very common and popular among humble families. However, this soup has never been exclusively a “poor man’s food”. Wealthy people, aristocrats even French kings loved it. Some historians say that King Louis XIV and Louis XV loved so much that soup that they used to prepare it by themselves. I hardly believe it as they weren’t even able to dress alone 🙂

But what is sure and inconstestable is that it’s the tradition in Paris to eat French onion soup in a typical “brasserie” (a kind of Parisian restaurant serving traditional meals) very late in the night (or very early in the morning) after a great festive night and just before to go to bed! In Spain in that occasion people eat churros, we eat cheese onion soup! Why? Because it’s a invigorating meal after a drinking night.

French onion soup: an healthy meal

Onion is recognised to be a “super food”. It’s rich in folic acid, antioxydants, vitamin C and selenium. It may prevent some cancers such as oesophagus, stomach, liver, colon, prostate gland and bowel. It’s also a protecting food against cardiovascular diseases and arterial hypertension. If you are on diet, prepare your French onion soup without cheese. It will remain excellent!

French onion soup recipe

For 4 servings


  • Preparation: 20 min
  • Cooking: 40 min
  • Total: 60 min


  • 4 cups (1 liter) chicken broth
  • 4 large onions
  • 2.12 oz (60g) unsalted butter
  • 3 rounded tablespoons (0.9 oz or 25g) flour
  • Optional: 1 glass of white dry wine
  • 1/2 French baguette or 12 small slices of bread
  • 4 tablespoons grated Gruyère (or another cow hard cheese like ComtĂ©, Appenzeller, Emmental…)
  • Pepper


  • Bring the broth to a boil
  • Peel the onions and thinly slice them
  • Brown the butter and the onions into a cast iron simmer pot and keep stiring constantly during about 5 minutes
  • Add the flour and continue stiring well during two minutes. Be careful the flour shouldn’t burn just brown
  • Baste with the broth and add the dry white wine (optional). Pepper to your taste.
  • Let simmer at low heat for about 30 minutes
  • Preheat your oven broiler
  • Cut the bread or baguette into 12 thin slices
  • Sprinkle the bread with the grated cheese
  • When the soup is cooked, pour it into 4 heat resistant soup bowls and cover with the bread
  • Broil the soups under the grill till the cheese is melted
  • If you don’t have an oven broiler. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C) and bake your soup for about 20 minutes in oven (till the cheese is melted)
  • Serve hot this delicious French onion soup

French onion soup wine pairing

Prefer a light and young dry white wine such as:

  • Alsace Pinot blanc
  • Alsace pinot gris
  • Arbois
  • Bourgogne Hautes cĂ´tes de Beaune
  • CĂ´tes du jura
  • Coteaux du Lyonnais
  • CĂ´tes de Bourg

Have you enjoyed this great French onion soup? Willing to know more about soups? Discover 10 tips for making great soups

Try also Pumpkin and Carrot soup

Leave a Reply