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French onion soup, a decadent and beloved fixture in French kitchens for centuries, is surprisingly simple to recreate at home.

The ultimate in comfort food, French onion soup is rooted in a hearty beef broth flavored with onions, butter, and cognac, and served alongside melted gruyere on a baguette – or, if you’re feeling extra indulgent, you can float the baguette on the top of the soup once it’s ready to serve. Make sure to scrape any goodness from the bottom of the pot to ensure even browning. There’s no soup better for wiping away the winter blues.

How to Make It

Difficulty: Easy

Overall Time: 1 hr 20 min

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 1 hr

Serves: 4



  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • 6 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp cognac
  • 6 cups no-salt beef broth
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves


  • 8 ¾-inch slices baguette, cut on the bias
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 ½ tsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups grated Gruyère cheese
  1. For the soup, melt butter in a large pot set over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and 1 tsp salt. Season with pepper. Cook, stirring often, while scraping bits from the bottom of the pot, until deeply browned, about 35 to 45 minutes. Add flour, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in cognac until combined. Add broth, thyme, bay leaves, and remaining 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors have blended, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for the toast, preheat broiler to low. Arrange baguette slices on an unlined baking sheet. Broil until lightly toasted, about 2 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven, then carefully rub top sides of toast with garlic clove. Drizzle each slice with olive oil, then top with cheese, lightly packing in to adhere. Return to oven and continue broiling until cheese has melted, 2 to 6 more minutes.
  3. To serve, discard bay leaves and thyme stems from soup. Divide among 4 bowls. Top each with 2 toast slices (alternatively, toast can be served alongside). Serve immediately.

How to Store It

Soup can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Classic French Onion Soup
Classic French Onion Soup by Casa de Suna

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