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French Onion Soup

Caramelized onions in a rich beef broth with baguette slices and melty gruyere cheese.

The Sauce: Beef Broth – Homemade beef broth simmered with meaty beef bones, vegetables, aromatics and herbs. Rich flavor you can’t get out of can, bottle, or box; this soup is mouthwatering.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Pauper soup

Kathy introduced me to French Onion Soup. We met in Plattsburgh, New York, a city set on the western banks of Lake Champlain. In the early 1980’s, our families were both stationed at the now defunct Air Force Base. She’d recently moved from the Azores which is an archipelago 930 miles west of Portugal. While their family was stationed there, she traveled through Europe. Her favorite vacation was definitely skiing in the Alps.

In France she learned to make French Onion soup. She invited me and another friend Jana for lunch to share her homemade soup. The crusty sliced baguettes and loads of gruyere cheese topping the soup came out of the oven melty and gooey. For me it was love at first aroma.

French-Onion-Soup-with-SpoonIt’s a paupers soup made from beef broth and onions. The cheapest bowl of something you’ll make that tastes like it’s fit for Marie Antoinette. Even without the toasted bread and cheese, it’s a winner. Love what those caramelized onions do to a splash of beef stock.

You might also enjoy Chicken Provence, French Beef Stew and Beef Bourguignon Soup.

4 of 4 part series ”2013 National Soup Month”. Part 1 New England Clam Chowder, Part 2 Mexican Hat Black Bean Soup, and Part 3 Roasted Tomato Bisque. More on Soup.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Broccoli Cheese Soup
2011 AniversaRecipe – Rockamole

Recipe: Chicken Provence

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes | Yield: 6 1/2 Cups | Level: Easy


  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cups sliced onion, about 3 medium
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 4 oz gruyere cheese, grated
  • diagonally sliced baguette, toasted

Special Equipment – soup pot

1 Add butter and olive oil to a soup pot over low heat. Once the butter is melted add the onions. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
2 Remove the lid and add sugar, salt and increase the heat to medium low. Cook for 25 minutes until the onions are caramelized. At first, stir the onions occasionally. Once they start to caramelize, stir more often scrapping the browning off the bottom of the pot. During the last 5-10 minutes watch fairly close stirring frequently. For the last 1-2 minutes, stir constantly.
3 Add the beef stock. Cook for 20 minutes uncovered. Adjust for salt.

4 Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

5 Place the soup in oven proof bowls. Lay 1 or 2 baguettes slice on top of the soup. Place 3 tablespoons of cheese on the baguettes. Place the bowls on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve hot.

Regular yellow onions work great for this soup. White or sweet also work well.

Serve this soup as a starter when entertaining. Also great with a salad like Tomato Wedge Salad or Bacon and Egg Spinach Salad. Or serve with a sandwich like BLAT, Reubens or Rachels.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange gruyere for a mix of swiss and parmesan cheese.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: January 24, 2013

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One Response to French Onion Soup

  1. Audrey January 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    I love the mossy green background of the picture. It’s enough different color to look twice. But the soup… Wow. I love the flavor of the broth. My favorite is the cheese and a bit of crunch that comes with the bread on top as well. I feel like it’s a notch above the regular.

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