French Onion Soup

French onion soup is a perfect fall soup. It’s also the perfect hangover soup – and hangovers are a year round season. So French onion soup is perfect all the time really.

With homemade croutons!

Anyway, now that the wisco weather is sharpening its teeth for the inevitable harsh bite of winter, I figured now was a perfect time for this easy recipe.

When I see French onion soup on a menu, it’s hard for me not to order. But the spectrum of soup varies wildly. From a too thin all broth no onion, to a soup that’s all cheese and not French onion at all – it’s hard to find balance. It’s why I set out on this noble endeavor. To make a consistently great soup I can easily enjoy at home. (I do want to give a shout out to the Great Dane in Madison for a French onion soup that will save man’s soul – and hangover).


Perfect! Ready for the recipe?


About 30-45 minutes prep, 45 minutes to cook

What you’ll need:

  • 5 yellow onions
  • 32 oz beef broth
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 bottle Pinot Grigio (Or any other cheap, semi dry white wine)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp basil
  • Pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 3 oz of your favorite cheese (Swiss, Gouda, Gruy√®re)

What You Do

  • Caramelizing the onions:
    • Chop the onions into hearty chunks (Don’t worry too much about size, they will shrink down when caramelized)
    • On a skillet add 1/4 cup of olive oil and 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat
    • Once the butter melts add the onions and toss them around the fats
    • Leave covered for about 15 minutes, stop to stir occasionally
    • At about the 20 minute mark, add 1 tsp of sugar and stir. Let the onions sit for another 15 minutes
    • Keep stirring. By now the onions should begin to brown and soften.
    • Once they brown, add 1/2 cup of white wine and the flour to the onions, stir it all in and let sit for 5 more minutes
  • In a large stock pot:
    • Add beef broth and season with some basil, the bay leaves, and pepper, and chopped garlic cloves
    • Set heat to medium and bring to a simmer
    • Once broth simmers, add the onions and another cup of wine (If you like your soup thicker, whisk in some more flour)
    • Let it sit covered and simmer on a low heat for 40 minutes to about an hour. The longer you wait, the better it tastes
  • While waiting, preheat the oven to 300 degrees
  • In an oven safe bowl, add soup and a thick slice of your cheese of choice. Serve and enjoy

*Optional: Serve with a nice homemade bread, pretzel stick, or croutons. Also, you probably half a lot of wine left, so go ahead and drink the rest.

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