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French Onion Soup

 34 Ratings
  • Prep Time 20 min
  • Total Time 1 hr 30 min
  • Servings 4
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French onion soup gets its rich flavor and color from the cooking of the onions. While they simmer, the flavors become intense, making this soup a savory delight. French onion soup is a perfect comfort-food dinner, served with a side of bread for dipping and topped with a decadent layer of cheese.


medium onions
tablespoons butter or margarine
cans (10.5 oz each) condensed beef broth
1 1/2
cups water
teaspoon pepper
teaspoon dried thyme leaves
dried bay leaf
oz Gruyère, Swiss or mozzarella cheese
slices (3/4 to 1 inch thick) French bread
cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • 1 Peel and cut the onions into slices to measure 4 cups. In a 4-quart nonstick Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in onions to coat with butter. Cook uncovered 10 minutes, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes.
  • 2 Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered 35 to 40 minutes longer, stirring well every 5 minutes, until onions are deep golden brown (onions will shrink during cooking).
  • 3 Stir in broth, water, pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Heat to boiling over high heat. Once mixture is boiling, reduce heat just enough so mixture bubbles gently. Cover with lid; simmer 15 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the Gruyère cheese by rubbing it across the largest holes of a grater to measure 1 cup; set aside.
  • 4 You may need to move the oven rack so it is near the broiler. Set the oven control to broil. On a cookie sheet, place the bread slices. Broil with tops about 5 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Turn bread over; broil 1 to 2 minutes longer until golden brown. Place toasted bread in 4 ovenproof bowls or individual ceramic casseroles (do not use glass, which cannot withstand heat of broiler and may break).
  • 5 Remove bay leaf from soup. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with Gruyère cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place bowls in pan with shallow sides.
  • 6 Broil soup bowls with tops about 5 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes or just until cheese is melted and golden brown. Watch carefully so cheese does not burn. Serve with additional French bread if desired.

Expert Tips

Gruyere cheese is a rich, nutty, buttery-tasting form of Swiss cheese with fewer and smaller holes.

Golden Onion Soup: Omit French bread and cheeses; do not broil.

Do not use glass containers; they cannot withstand the heat from the broiler and may break.

The long, slow cooking of the onions gives this soup its rich caramelized-onion flavor and color.

Be sure to remove the bay leaf after simmering the soup. It is very dry and brittle and will not soften during cooking so it isn't edible.

Gruyère cheese is a rich, nutty, buttery-tasting form of Swiss, without the holes. It becomes smooth and creamy when melted.

Slowing cook the onions, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent burning, until deep golden brown.

Place ovenproof bowls or individual ceramic casseroles in a pan with shallow sides. Broil until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Nutrition Information


Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
Trans Fat
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Carbohydrate Choice
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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