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How to Make French Onion Soup: The Ultimate Guide



How to Make French Onion Soup

How to Make French Onion Soup: The Ultimate Guide

How to make french onion soup? Many people think that it’s impossible to make an authentic French onion soup at home, but it’s not. Here’s everything you need to know about how to make french onion soup, so you can impress family and friends with your fancy cooking skills.


Onions are an essential ingredient in any onion soup. You will need a minimum of two large yellow onions for each person you plan on serving; however, for a more flavorful soup, we recommend using three. Use sweet white onions or red onions if you prefer a milder flavor.



Yellow onions have a stronger taste and will add more depth to your soup. Yellow onions can be used interchangeably with Vidalia or Walla Walla onions, which are sweeter than most other varieties.



But don’t stop there if you want to make things even easier, just pick up some pre-chopped onions from your local grocery store. If you want to go all out, get fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs (or at least dried versions) from your local farmers’ market.


These herbs really take an onion soup recipe over the top! Remember that freshly ground black pepper is key to making a delicious bowl of onion soup. Don’t skimp here! Freshly ground pepper has so much more flavor than its pre-ground counterpart.


A cheese grater is another handy tool that you will use when making onion soup. The best cheeses for use in French onion soup are Gruyere, Emmentaler, or aged Cheddar.

How to Make French Onion Soup

How to Make French Onion Soup

Any combination of these cheeses works well. For example, you could use 1/2 cup of Gruyere and 1/2 cup of Cheddar or 1/4 cup each of both kinds of cheese.


You can also substitute Parmesan for one or both types of cheese listed above. Parmesan is slightly saltier than either Gruyere or Cheddar, but it melts very well into hot liquids like those found in onion soup recipes.


Be sure to finely grate your cheese before adding it to your soup. Finally, you will need butter and olive oil for sautéing purposes. You should use unsalted butter because it allows you to control how much salt goes into your dish; however if unsalted butter isn’t available where you live, regular salted butter is fine as long as you keep track of how much additional salt goes into your dish. Olive oil helps add subtle flavors to your soup.


You may use extra virgin olive oil, but you can also substitute vegetable or corn oil if necessary. While not absolutely necessary, a Dutch oven is recommended for making onion soup at home. This type of pot distributes heat evenly across its surface area and ensures that your food cooks evenly without burning. However, if you do not own a Dutch oven, any heavy-bottomed pot will work in place of one.


Just be sure to check your soup periodically while cooking so that it doesn’t burn. When buying onions, look for ones that are firm and free of blemishes. Avoid soft spots or moldy patches on them as they will affect their texture once cooked.

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Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight until you’re ready to use them. Once purchased, store leftover onions in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for up to five days after purchase. You can freeze onions for up to six months if you’d like to save them for later use.


Before freezing, peel and chop your onions, and then spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in your freezer for about 20 minutes, then transfer to a plastic bag or container and return to your freezer. Frozen onions will last indefinitely in your freezer.


To thaw frozen onions, simply leave them out at room temperature for a few hours. You can also microwave them for a few seconds if you’re in a hurry. Finally, you will need a large stockpot to cook your soup in.


You can use any size of stockpot as long as it is at least 12 quarts in size; however, a 16-quart or larger stockpot is ideal for making multiple servings of onion soup. Also, be sure that your stockpot has a tight-fitting lid so that moisture from your onions does not escape into your kitchen.


Before you can make French onion soup, you need some onions. To start with, cut off just enough of one end of each onion so that it will sit upright and firmly on a countertop.

How to Make French Onion Soup:

How to Make French Onion Soup:

Then use a knife to peel off and discard any dark skin around each onion. Also, remove any parts of the onions that appear decayed or damaged. Afterward, cut away a small disk from each onion’s top. This will allow steam to escape as they cook.


Finally, place your onions in a large pot and fill it with water until they are covered by at least 1 inch of liquid. Bring them to a boil over high heat before reducing heat to medium-low; let them simmer for about 45 minutes or until tender throughout.


Remove them from heat and set them aside. Once they have cooled down slightly, drain off excess water using a colander. Then dice up all of your cooked onions into small pieces.


How to Make French Onion Soup: The Ultimate Guide Ingredients and Equipment Needed
(1) 10-inch cast-iron skillet

(2) 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

(3) 2 tablespoons olive oil

(4) 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions

(5) 4 cups beef broth

(6) 2 bay leaves Directions


Step 1 – Sautéing Onions Add butter and olive oil to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place it over medium heat. While waiting for butter to melt, add onions to the skillet and stir well. Continue stirring occasionally while cooking onions over medium heat until they become translucent (about 5 minutes). Reduce heat if necessary to avert burning.


Step 2 – Simmering Onions Add beef broth and bay leaves to a pan with sautéed onions. Place lid on the pan and bring mixture to a simmer over low heat. Cook the mixture for approximately 30 minutes without stirring it too much or removing the lid from the pan. Remove from heat and set aside.

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Step 3 – Serving Ladle French onion soup into bowls and serve immediately. Optional toppings include croutons, cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, or chives. Enjoy!


Tips & Warnings Remember to wait for onions to cool slightly before dicing them up into small pieces. If you try cutting hot onions, you may wind up with tears streaming down your face instead of perfectly diced vegetables.


Adding salt early in the process is not recommended because it may inhibit caramelization during later steps. If possible, do not use aluminum pots when making French onion soup because acids found in wine and vinegar may react negatively with aluminum surfaces.


1-2 people Difficulty: easy Time to Prepare: 1 hour Time to Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes Special Tools Needed: cast iron skillet, cheese grater, french bread or baguette, mandolin slicer, cutting board Ingredients for Meat Broth (1 quart): -3 pounds of chuck roast -4 cups of water -1 medium onion, sliced -4 garlic cloves, minced -2 bay leaves Ingredients for Caramelized Onions (1 quart): 2 pounds of yellow onions, sliced in half and then thinly sliced Ingredients for Cheese Topping (1 quart): 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 4 tablespoons flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups milk 8 ounces gruyere cheese Instructions: Peel and slice onions into thin slices. Slice your onions by hand or use a mandolin to get them as thin as possible. In a large pot on high heat, add your meat broth ingredients and bring to a boil.


Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender enough to shred with two forks. This should take about an hour depending on how thick your beef is cut. While your meat is cooking, prepare your caramelized onions.


Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook stirring occasionally until they are soft and translucent but not browned (about 30 minutes). Then add another tablespoon of butter and continue cooking until they are golden brown (about 10 more minutes).


Remove from heat once done. While you’re waiting for your soup base to cook, make a roux by melting 4 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour and salt and cook while stirring constantly for 5 minutes.


Slowly whisk in milk while continuing to stir until smooth. Increase heat to medium-high and continue whisking frequently until the mixture begins to bubble for about 5 more minutes. Reduce heat back down to low and stir in shredded cheese until melted. Set aside off of the heat. When your meat is cooked through, remove it from your broth using tongs or a slotted spoon.


Shred meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Discard any fat that has accumulated at the top of your broth. Strain out any remaining solids (vegetables) and return the liquid to a clean pot over medium heat. Taste your broth and season with salt if needed.

How to Make French Onion Soup

How to Make French Onion Soup

Keep warm until ready to serve. For assembly, ladle some hot soup into bowls followed by some caramelized onions, and shredded cheese, and finally sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley if desired! Enjoy!