Classic Onion Soup Recipe with Caramelized Onions

Classic Onion Soup Recipe with Caramelized Onions

This classic onion soup recipe with caramelized onions is a perfect choice. Made with simple ingredients and packed with rich flavors, this French-inspired soup will leave you craving for more. The combination of sweet caramelized onions, savory beef broth, and melted cheese topping creates a heavenly bowl of soup that is sure to impress your family and friends. Follow this easy recipe to enjoy a bowl of classic onion soup in the comfort of your own home.

Ingredients for Classic Onion Soup

  • 4 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 slices French bread
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Step-by-Step Instructions for Caramelizing Onions

Follow these simple steps to caramelize onions for your classic onion soup:

  1. Start by thinly slicing 4 large yellow onions.
  2. Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and allow it to heat up.
  4. Add the sliced onions to the pan and stir to coat them in the oil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and let the onions cook slowly for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. After 30 minutes, the onions should start to turn a golden brown color. Continue cooking and stirring for another 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are a deep caramel color.
  7. During the cooking process, if you notice the onions sticking to the pan or becoming too dry, you can add a splash of water or broth to deglaze the pan and loosen any browned bits.
  8. Once the onions are caramelized to your liking, remove them from the heat and set aside.

Caramelized onions add a rich and sweet flavor to the classic onion soup recipe. Now that you have perfectly caramelized onions, you can proceed with the rest of the soup preparation.

Making the Soup Base: Broth and Seasonings

Once the onions are perfectly caramelized, it’s time to move on to creating the delicious soup base that will give this classic onion soup its rich and savory flavor. Here’s how to make the broth and seasonings:


  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large soup pot, pour in the beef broth and add the dry white wine (if using). The wine adds a subtle depth of flavor to the soup.
  2. Add the minced garlic, bay leaf, dried thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper. These seasonings will enhance the taste of the broth.
  3. Place the pot over medium heat and bring the broth to a gentle simmer. Allow the flavors to meld together for about 15 minutes.
  4. After simmering, taste the broth and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more salt and pepper according to your preference.
  5. Remove the bay leaf from the pot using a slotted spoon or tongs. The bay leaf has served its purpose and can now be discarded.

Now that you have prepared the flavorful broth and seasoned it to perfection, it’s time to combine it with the caramelized onions and complete your classic onion soup. Proceed to the next section to learn how to assemble and serve this delectable dish.

Assembling and Serving the Classic Onion Soup

Once the onion soup is ready and simmering with rich flavors, it’s time to assemble and serve it to enjoy its comforting goodness. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the oven-safe soup bowls on a baking sheet.
  2. Ladle the hot onion soup into the oven-safe bowls, filling them about three-quarters full.
  3. Place a toasted baguette slice on top of each bowl, allowing it to float on the surface of the soup.
  4. Sprinkle a generous amount of grated Gruyère cheese over the bread slices, covering them completely.
  5. Transfer the baking sheet with the filled soup bowls to the preheated oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Once the cheese has melted and attained a golden-brown color, remove the soup bowls from the oven using oven mitts or kitchen gloves to avoid burns.
  7. Allow the soup bowls to cool for a few minutes before serving, as they will be extremely hot.
  8. Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves or chopped parsley to add a touch of freshness and visual appeal.
  9. Serve the classic onion soup immediately while it’s still hot, accompanied by a crusty baguette or garlic bread on the side.

Enjoy the luscious and comforting flavors of this classic onion soup, savoring each spoonful of the caramelized onions, rich broth, gooey cheese, and crispy bread. It’s a perfect dish for cozy evenings or as a starter for an impressive dinner party.

Tips and Variations for Perfecting Your Onion Soup

Looking to take your onion soup to the next level? Here are some tips and variations to help you perfect this classic recipe:

1. Experiment with Different Types of Onions

While caramelized onions are typically used in classic onion soup, don’t hesitate to experiment with different types of onions. Red onions, shallots, or even a mix of different onions can add unique flavors and textures to your soup.

2. Add a Splash of Wine

For an extra depth of flavor, consider adding a splash of dry white or red wine to your soup. The alcohol will evaporate while cooking, leaving behind a rich and aromatic taste.

3. Use Homemade Beef Stock

If possible, try making your own beef stock from scratch. Homemade stock enhances the overall flavor of the soup and gives it a more authentic taste. However, if you’re short on time, store-bought beef stock will still yield delicious results.

4. Experiment with Cheese Toppings

While Gruyere cheese is the traditional choice for topping onion soup, feel free to experiment with different types of cheese. Swiss, provolone, or even a combination of several cheeses can add a delightful twist to your soup.

5. Toast Some Baguette Slices

Don’t forget the classic baguette slices! Toast some baguette slices until they are crispy and golden. Then, place them on top of the soup before adding the cheese. This will give your onion soup that signature crunchy texture.

With these tips and variations, you can elevate your classic onion soup recipe and make it truly outstanding. Don’t be afraid to get creative and customize the soup to suit your taste preferences. Enjoy!


In conclusion, this classic onion soup recipe with caramelized onions is a delightful dish that brings together the rich flavors of caramelized onions, beef broth, and melted cheese. The slow-cooked onions add a sweet and savory depth to the soup, while the melted cheese on top provides a creamy and indulgent finish. Whether you’re looking for a comforting meal on a cold winter’s day or a delicious appetizer for a dinner party, this recipe is sure to impress. So grab a spoon and enjoy a bowl of this comforting and flavorful onion soup!

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