French Onion Soup – Soupe à l’oignon

Here is how to make the classic French broiled Soupe à l’oignon. Comforting caramelized onions cooked in broth, decadant broiled cheese on baguette. The best ever.

Classic French onion soup with bread and broiled cheese

Soupe à l’oignon in an iconic dish of traditional French cuisine, and actually a soup the French like to cook often. So comforting on a cilly day. Better homemade and yet so simple to prepare.

All you need is time to roast onions then when caramelized let them cook in broth to enhance flavors. Long time but hands-off.

A bit rich and decandent, I admit, but sooo comforting. When the onion soup is ready, choose oven proof bowls, those on the pics are classic of French restaurants, add thick slices of toasted bread, may it be baguette or countrybread. Then sprinkle a thick layer of shredded cheese (Comté cheese is a must but often replaced by Gruyère or Emmental).

Finally in the oven to broil until cheese is melted. You then eat it right away, in hot bowls. A delight. I told you it was easy…

In French this soop is called soupe à l’oignon (soupe = soup, oignon = onion), and sometimes say gratinée à l’oignon, the verb gratiner meaning to broil as what makes this soup so unique is that cheese is not only melted, it’s broiled under the grill of the ovent.

Classic French onion soup with bread and broiled cheese

Classic French Onion Soup - Soupe à l'oignon

Here is how to make the classic French broiled Soupe à l’oignon. Comforting caramelized onions cooked in broth, decadant broiled cheese on baguette. Pan fry chopped onion until caramelized, add broth and cook for 45 mn. Pour in individual bowls, add toasted bread slices, cover with shredded cheese and broil in the oven.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Portions: 6
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  • 75 gr butter
  • 750 gr sweet onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 liters chicken broth or beef or vegetable if you prefer
  • 100 ml dry white wine optional
  • salt , freshly ground pepper and nutmeg
  • slices baguette or rustic bread toasted
  • 200 gr shredded cheese ideally French Comté cheese (or Emmental of Gruyère)


First prepare the onion soup

  • Peel and chop onion by cutting thin slices. In a large pan, melt butter. Add onions, season with salt and pepper and fry while stirring from time to time until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, prepare chicken broth (either ready made or as the French often do, dissolve cube in hot water).
  • Add the tablespoon of flour and combine.Then pour in chicken broth (eventually white wine as well, I usually don’t) and sugar, combine.
  • Cover and cook for about 30 minutes at medium-low.

Prepare the individual bowls

  • Preheat the oven, broiler position if you have this option. Pour onion soup (onions and broth).
  • Toast bread slices (either baguette or rustic bread). Cover the soup with bread slices, here 3 per bowl.
  • Then over with a generous layer of shredded cheese.

Finally broil cheese

  • Place soup bowls under the grill and broil for about 10 minutes, the time depends on your oven, we just want the cheese to melt and broil as the sook is already cooled.
  • Serve immediately after.
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Bon appétit !

Bon appétit !

French classic onion soup
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