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Soupe a l'oignon ( French Onion Soup)

A true French classic that is totally worth the effort.
Course Soup
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 626kcal
Author International Cuisine


  • 6 cups sweet yellow onions thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 6 cups beef stock preferably homemade
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces swiss gruyere cheese grated
  • 4 ounces parmegiano regiano cheese grated
  • 1/2 raw yellow onion
  • 2 -3 tablespoons cognac
  • 8 slices French bread about 1 inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling


  • Place heavy bottom stock pot or dutch over over medium-low heat.
  • Add cooking oil and butter to pot.
  • Add sliced onions and stir until they are evenly coated with the oil.
  • Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until they are very tender and translucent.
  • To brown or caramelize the onions turn heat under pot to medium or medium high heat.
  • Add 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt and continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently until the onions have browned and reduced significantly. (note this requires patience it can take up to 1 hour for them to caramelize, please do not turn up the heat to hurry them, they will burn)
  • Once caramelized, reduce heat to medium-low and add 3 Tbs flour to the onions.
  • Brown the flour for about 2-3 minutes trying not to scorch it. (If the flour does not form a thick paste, you can add a bit more butter here).
  • Stir in about 1 cup of warm stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up all of the cooked-on bits.
  • Add the rest of the stock, wine, sage, and bay leaf to the soup.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • To make the "croutes" (toasted bread), heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Drizzle each side of the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and place on baking sheet.
  • Cook the croutes for 10 minutes in oven on each side (20 minutes total).
  • Check the soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Remove the bay leaf (if you can find it).
  • Transfer to a casserole dish.
  • At this point you can add the 2-3 Tbs cognac or good French brandy and grate the 1/2 raw onion into the soup.
  • Add a few ounces of the swiss cheese directly into the soup and stir.
  • Place the toasted bread in a single layer on top of the soup.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the cheese in a thick layer on top of the bread making sure to cover the edges of the toast to prevent burning.
  • Drizzle with a little oil or melted butter.
  • Place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
  • Turn on broiler and brown cheese well.
  • Let cool for a few minutes.
  • Bon Appetit!


Calories: 626kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 1375mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 601IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 668mg | Iron: 3mg