Cooking From Scratch: French Onion Soup

“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”

Oh Spring on the coast! Days of sunshine and excitement around planning the garden and then days like today, cold and grey. I got home just in time from my grocery shop to avoid the storm. It rained hard for hours. I made a French Onion soup topped with cheesy baguette and a salad for tonight’s dinner.

French Onion soup is my favourite. If it’s on the menu at a restaurant, I’ll more than likely order it and this recipe has all the rich balance or flavours to rival any one I’ve ordered.

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour (or gluten free flour)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine (or beef broth), for deglazing the pan
  • 7-8 cups beef broth, depending on how brothy you like your french onion soup (can also use bone broth)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • White (or black ) pepper ground.
  • 1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • For the baguettes:
  • 1 French baguette, cut into 1 inch thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Garlic powder
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded


Melt the olive oil and butter in a large dutch oven or pot over medium/low heat. Add in the onions and salt and stir to coat the onions with the butter. Cook onions, stirring occasionally; check onions every 10-15 minutes until they have completely caramelized and turned golden in colour. This took about 45 minutes. If the onions appear to be getting too dark or sticking too much to the bottom of the pan, then simply reduce the heat a bit.

After onions have completely caramelized, add in the flour and minced garlic, stir to coat onions and cook for 2 more minutes. 

Deglaze the pan with ½ cup very dry white wine or beef broth and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Slowly add in beef broth followed by the thyme, freshly pepper, worchestershire sauce and bay leaf. Raise the heat to bring to a quick boil then lower heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. 

After 30 minutes remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, such as adding more salt and pepper.

About 10 minutes before the soup is done, preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the baguette slices in a single layer on the baking sheet, brush one side of baguettes with butter and a sprinkle of garlic powder and toast in the oven for 5 minutes per side until golden on the edges. Remove from oven.

At this point you have two options on how to finish the soup:

OPTION 1: Add shredded cheese on top of one side of the toasted baguettes and continue to bake for 3-5 minutes longer until cheese is melted. Ladle soup into bowls. Add a slice or two of your cheesy baguette on top. Serve soup immediately. Sometimes I add a little extra shredded cheese on top of the soup.

OPTION 2: You make the soup the traditional way placing oven-safe bowls/crocks on a baking sheet and ladling soup into the bowls. Top each with a toasted baguette. Sprinkle each bowl with about 1/3 cup shredded cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Make sure you are watching very carefully! Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings

Thank you for joining me in the kitchen today. The rest of my evening will be spent relaxing. I’ve been loving the show Alaska Daily and have the newest episode recorded. Wishing you a cozy evening.

Until next time.



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