French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

I made this French Onion Soup a few days ago and had to share it with those of you who don’t yet have my cookbook, Living Legacy: Stories of a Restaurant Family. Even if you do, you’ll find these instructions a bit more detailed. If you are a fan of this classic soup with sweet caramelized onions and that salty, cheesy, indescribably delicious top layer, but have never tried making it at home, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the relatively simple process.

I’m going to try some new things in the coming months to grow my Wit & Thyme brand. Offering zoom cooking classes, private culinary coaching, and some packaged goods are just a few things I’m working toward. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date on what will be a sometimes awkward, but hopefully successful journey.

My friend and professional life coach, Sarah Gourley, and I are hosting a local event just before Valentine’s Day that will focus on self-care and include a demonstration on how to make Dark Chocolate Truffles. Find more information here if you are interested.

French onion soup
French Onion Soup page 73, Living Legacy: Stories of a Restaurant Family

French Onion Soup

4 – 6 servings

3 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced 

1/4 cup butter 

2 large or 3 small cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/4 teaspoon black pepper 

1 teaspoon dried thyme

 1/3 cup red wine 

4 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable stock or broth 


sliced baguette, toasted (any toasted French or sourdough bread, croutons, or crostini will work)       

1 1/3 cups grated Swiss or Gruyère cheese 


fresh thyme (optional)

* Special equipment: 4 – 6 oven-safe soup bowls or large ramekins (8 – 10 ounce capacity)

Peel and slice the onions into rings or half-slices as shown – approximately 1/8 inch thick.

Melt the butter over low-medium heat in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. 

Flatten each garlic clove with the flat side of a large knife to loosen the peel. Slice the garlic lengthwise as thin as you can with a sharp knife.

Add the sliced onions, garlic, salt, black pepper, and dried thyme to the melted butter. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and begin to caramelize. This should take 20 to 30 minutes; you don’t want the onions to brown too quickly. 

Add the red wine to the caramelized onions and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the wine to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring often, until the wine has reduced. Stir in the stock/broth and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt/pepper if needed. Keep the soup warm until you are ready to serve it.

Turn the oven on to the broil setting and position the rack towards the top so the bowls or ramekins will be directly under the heating element.

Toast the slices of bread (I used 2 slices of baguette for each serving) and grate the cheese.

Fill the bowls or ramekins about 3/4 of the way with soup. Arrange the toasted bread to cover the top of each bowl of soup. Sprinkle the grated cheese in a thick layer over the toasted bread. 

Place the soup bowls on a cookie sheet before placing in the oven, then broil for 4 – 5 minutes until the cheese melts and begins to brown. 

Serve the soup on a plate and dig in (with caution, of course, it will be hot!) Make it a complete meal with Apple Hazelnut Blue Cheese Salad , Braised Garlic Chicken Thighs, or Garlic-Stuffed Pork Roast .

French onion soup

This is a perfect description of this classic, comforting soup.

“My soup arrived. Crusted with cheese, golden at the edges. The waiter placed it carefully in front of me, and I broke through the top layer with my spoon and filled it with warm oniony broth, catching bits of soaking bread. The smell took over the table, a warmingness. And because circumstances rarely match, and one afternoon can be a patchwork of both joy and horror, the taste of the soup washed through me. Warm, kind, focused, whole. It was easily, without question, the best soup I had ever had, made by a chef who found true refuge in cooking.” 

Aimee Bender (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake)

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