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Classic French Onion Soup

Enjoy my signature French onion soup the way my granddaughter Becky does: I make onion soup for her in a crock bowl, complete with garlic croutons and gobs of melted Swiss cheese on top. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 2 hours
  • Makes
    12 servings (2-1/4 quarts)


  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 cups thinly sliced onions (about 3 pounds)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup port wine
  • 2 cartons (32 ounces each) beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 24 slices French bread baguette (1/2 inch thick)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 3/4 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese


  • In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil and butter over medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir until softened, 10-13 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Add minced garlic; cook 2 minutes longer.
  • Stir in wine. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add broth, pepper and salt; return to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet; brush both sides with remaining oil. Bake until toasted, 3-5 minutes on each side. Rub toasts with halved garlic.
  • To serve, place twelve 8-oz. broiler-safe bowls or ramekins on baking sheets; place 2 toasts in each. Ladle with soup; top with cheese. Broil 4 in. from heat until cheese is melted.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Common olive oil works better for cooking at high heat than virgin or extra virgin oil. These higher grades have ideal flavor for cold foods, but they smoke at lower temperatures.
  • Depending on your region, sweet onions may be available only during the warmer months of the year. You can use regular yellow onions in the soup recipe.
  • Check out 76 of our favorite contest-winning soup recipes.
  • Nutrition Facts
    3/4 cup soup with 1 slice bread and 1 tablespoon cheese: 172 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 773mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.
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    Average Rating:
    • Sylvia
      Feb 12, 2021

      Need to correct your instructions. You ladle the soup first then place the bread on top then top the bread with cheese. Even your video and picture shows the bread on top.

    • Darrin
      Feb 12, 2021

      Did this with a sangria since it's all we had...a little embarassing I know...anyhow to punch up the wine flavor I doubled was awesome...gave the soup a nice sweet finish. Really good!

    • Steve
      Dec 29, 2020

      No comment left

    • Stacey
      Dec 7, 2020

      Excellent recipe! I made this recipe with one adjustment. I used roasted fresh garlic (as that is what I had on hand). Delicious! I will surely be making this again. Thank you, Lou.

    • Susan
      Sep 27, 2020

      Really good! My 7 year old was like it was ok (the fact she ate the onions surprised me)! My husband and I really enjoyed it! I didn't have bowls that can go in the oven so I just put the bread on a baking sheet and sprinkled them with cheese. I also used garlic salt instead of garlic because that's how I like to make my bread with bruschetta and it's delicious! Will for sure make again this winter!

    • Beverly
      Sep 17, 2020

      Great recipe! Tasted a little flat until I added thyme and I like it a little thicker so added some cornstarch liquid, but understand you can add flour to onions before deglasing. Thanks!

    • Katy's mom
      Sep 10, 2020

      Good recipe, similar to the one I've used for years. I prefer a little sherry instead of port wine. But what does Ree Drummond have to do with a recipe contributed by Lou Sansevero of Utah? Did I miss something?

    • Donna
      Jun 25, 2020

      One of the best!! Very good and followed another comment about making half for only the two of us. I did not have the baguette but did have a couple of homemade buns that worked fine.

    • amygattuso
      Apr 22, 2020

      Delicious. I used sherry as that I’d what I had on hand. Even my kids gobbled it up!

    • Catbird513
      Jan 11, 2020

      Awesome soup! This recipe is a keeper! Takes some time, but well worth it. I think it is restaurant quality! I used Guyrer and sometimes use smoked Gouda. Delicious!