Ahhh…French Onion Soup! There is only one thing better than French Onion Soup…and that is Easy French Onion Soup made right at home!
Every time I see French Onion Soup on a restaurant menu I can’t resist the temptation and I order it…even though that means I will not have room for an entree (although I order that too, always thinking I will!). Sad to say, most times I am disappointed by the French Onion Soup finding it lacking in that rich, buttery and velvety beef flavor combined with the perfect amount of onions that is a MUST if French Onion Soup is going to rate higher than a 2 with me. Of course, I have also been blown away by some absolutely fantastic French Onion Soups at several local restaurants…the most recent being served at Jeff’s Taproom & Grill in Delaware. Man, oh man, is their French Onion Soup good…so good that Jeff (he goes for their awesome burgers, of course) and I will jump on the bike and ride 50 minutes just so I can have the French Onion Soup!
I have made French Onion Soup at home numerous times and while they are always good, I felt they just didn’t measure up to my expectations…that was until I developed the recipe for Easy French Onion Soup! This recipe is so easy, uses just a few ingredients and produces that rich, buttery stock with perfectly cooked onions in every bite!
As with every new recipe I develop, I learned some things along the way. Choosing the wrong cheese will lead to what you see in the above picture…it didn’t melt! Oops! I thought I was being creative by choosing a “different” cheese…the label said French Baby Swiss, how perfect for French Onion Soup? Not so much…I probably could have gotten past the lack of melting, but it squeaked when took a bite! Yuck! The cheese is one of the best parts of French Onion Soup and this one just didn’t cut it…thankfully, the soup itself is so good you don’t miss the cheese! The other thing I learned is if you use a mug (I have yet to find the perfect crock for French Onion Soup) like we did, don’t fill it beyond 2/3rds or it will spill everywhere when you go to eat it!
Jeff and I had this Easy French Onion Soup a few days later with Gruyere and Provolone and it was perfect…but I forgot to take pictures! Go figure! I will be making it again after I find the perfect crock and will update pictures then! In the meantime, if you are a French Onion Soup lover like me…this is a must try recipe! Also, if anyone has found the perfect size crock (mine are way too big)…please let me know in the comment section! Thanks and I hope you enjoy this soup as much as Jeff & I do!
Ingredients for Easy French Onion Soup
- Vidalia Onions
- Beef Stock & Beef Consommé
- Gruyere & Provolone Cheese (not shown)
- Fresh Thyme
- Sourdough or French Bread
- Salt & Pepper
Peel and slice the onions. Cut the onion in half through the middle of the root end to the middle of the stem end. Then cut off the stem as pictured. Peel and slice. I like to slice mine thin (not paper thin) about 1/8-1/4 inch and I leave them in strips or actually semi circles. If you prefer a smaller onion in your soup, you can cut the onion in half from root to stem before slicing or dice the onion. In a large stock pot on medium heat, melt butter until it begins to sizzle.
Add sliced onions, salt and pepper to melted butter and allow to cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook an additional 20 minutes or until onions are tender and created a broth.
After the onions are tender, drain the broth and reserve (we add this back in…YUM!). Return onions to the pan and continue to sauté on medium high heat until browned. Stir the onions frequently to avoid burning. This takes about 20-30 minutes and, in my opinion, is the most important one. You want the onions to caramelize and brown, but not burn. I almost went to far with mine (see the really dark specks), but thankfully did not have any burnt flavor in the finished soup!
Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Once the onions are nice and brown, add the reserved butter broth along with the beef consommé and beef stock. Continue to cook over low heat. Dice the Thyme and add to broth.
While the soup is simmering, slice and butter the sourdough or French bread. Place bread slices on baking tray and place in pre-heated oven. Bake 12-15 minutes on 400° or until golden brown. I flip mine to make sure they are golden brown on both sides. While the bread is baking, grate the Gruyere and Provolone cheeses.
Ladle the soup to fill the mug or crock 2/3rds full. I filled my mugs WAY too full and the soup overflowed when we went to eat it! Drop in toasted bread and cover with cheese. Place on tray and put under broiler* until cheese has melted and browned (only a few minutes). Remove from oven and allow to sit a few minutes. Serve and Enjoy!
*I used coffee mugs to serve my soup in and I wasn’t sure if they would crack under the broiler, so I baked mine at 450 ° for about 10-12 minutes.
Easy French Onion Soup
- 5 lbs 8-10 Sweet Onions
- 3/4 lbs Salted Butter
- 2 32oz containers of Beef Stock
- 1 14.5oz can Beef Consomme
- 1/2 Tablespoon fine grind Sea Salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
- 1 loaf Sourdough or French Bread
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere Cheese
- 1 cup shredded Provolone Cheese
- Peel and slice onions
- Melt1/2 lb salted butter in large stock pot over medium heat
- Add onions, salt & pepper. Continue to cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until onions are tender.
- Strain buttery broth from onions and reserve for later.
- Return onions to stock pot and over medium/high heat continue to cook, stirring frequently until browned. This will take about 20-30 minutes.
- Return buttery broth back into stock pot and reduce heat to low.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Add beef stock and beef consomme to stock pot and continue to simmer
- Remove Thyme leaves from sprig until you have 1 Tablespoon. Add to stock pot and stir.
- Cut Bread into slices and butter. Place on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.
- Grate cheeses
- Ladle soup to fill crock or mug 2/3 of the way. Drop in toasted bread. Cover with Shredded Cheese and place on baking sheet.
- Place under broiler for a few minutes until cheese is melted and browning.
- Remove from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes.
- Serve and Enjoy!