Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (2024)

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The Blonde Abroad

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Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (62)

Kicking off our ‘Recipes Around the World’ series, Jessica of Bon Traveler is here to share her grandmother’s French Onion Soup! Here’s Jessica with all the details:

If there’s one dish that been part of my life since I was young, it is undoubtedly French Onion Soup. My Mamy (French for grandmother) has been making me this soul-warming soup from day one. It’s a dish near to my heart.

My go-to for a filling dinner, or when I want to slow down and read a book on the weekend — French Onion Soup knows how to fit all moods.

Surprisingly it’s a rather complicated recipe to execute even though there are only a few ingredients. I’ve seen many variations of the soup, many missing key parts. The onions are not cut properly, changing the consistency, or the broth is too thick or too thin.

The trick? A tried and true family recipe hailing from the French countryside.

I spent the day with my Mamy, experimenting with proportions and taste. Often times she just “wings” the recipe, and cooks according to sight and taste — this time I marked exact portions.

Here’s how to make French Onion Soup at home! Bon appétit!

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About This Dish

Rooted deep in the history of France, French Onion Soup has been a staple of at-home meals, brasseries, and cafés alike.

The hearty soup compromised of simple ingredients is the perfect combination of both the savory and the sweet. Crisp country bread topped with melting cheese and you have yourself a soup that wins over any newcomer.

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Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (65)Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (66)


*Serves 4 people

  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced (not chopped)
  • 6 tbsp of butter
  • 1/8 cup of flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 box of beef broth
  • 2 cups of shredded Gruyere cheese
  • A baguette, well toasted and thickly sliced

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Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (68)Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (69)Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (70)


  1. Sauté the onions in butter until golden brown.
  2. Turn the heat off, add in the flour on top of onions, stirring slowly to mix well.
  3. Turn the heat back on medium, slowly adding the beef broth, mixing it in well with the flour and onions (be sure there are no lumps). Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Put your oven on broil as the soup boils.
  5. Grab oven-safe bowls, and place the well-toasted baguette slices at the bottom.
  6. Check broth, it should be mildly thick, but not too thin. Add flour if need be.
  7. Spoon in the broth on top of the baguette slices and the bread should float to the top. If not pull up with a spoon to the surface.
  8. Sprinkle shredded Gruyere cheese on top and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and sizzling.
  9. Enjoy!

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Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (72)

French Onion Soup fits all moods—it can be the whole meal or a side bowl of savory soup to complement all sorts of dishes.

Notes from Grandmother

  • Never leave the kitchen! Always watch over the onions.
  • Cooking requires patience.
  • Be your own judge for the quantities and portions.
  • Be careful with the salt in the broth, as the cheese on top will be salty.

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Find more goodies from Jessica on her blog: Bon Traveler!

By Jessica Wright

Jessica Wright is a full-time travel blogger based out of Northern California. As a photographer and writer, she shares her travels and inspiration on Bon Traveler. Her blog is dedicated to curated destination guides, travel tips, and inspiring spaces. You can find pieces of her adventures daily on her Instagram.

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Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (81)

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  1. Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (82) Hannah Brown

    Hi Jessica! I love to cook and I have had so much extra time to cook while in quarantine as I have been home so much more. I look forward to trying this French Onion Soup! Thanks for such a fun guest blog post!! X

    April 24, 2020 at 9:03 pm· Reply

    • Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (83) The Blonde Abroad

      Hey Hannah! Such a delicious recipe Jessica contributed. I hope you enjoy! 🙂

      May 14, 2020 at 7:41 pm· Reply

  2. Cooking is my love language, and this recipe looks and sounds so delicious. Will definitely have to try it. Thanks for sharing!

    May 24, 2023 at 4:35 pm· Reply



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Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (89)


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Recipes Around the World: French Onion Soup (2024)


What country is French onion soup from? ›

The classic French onion soup gets its name from its country of origin: France. After making its debut in the 18th century, it has become a national treasure. During ancient times (and still today), onions were cheap and easy to grow, and hence, readily available.

Is French onion soup different in France? ›

While the basic components of French onion soup remain consistent, there may be slight regional variations in France. For example, some regions may use different types of cheese or variations in the broth base, but the essence of the dish remains the same.

What is the difference between onion soup and French onion soup? ›

What is the Difference Between Onion Soup and French Onion Soup? French onion soup is always made with beef stock. Other onion soups can be made with chicken, vegetable, or beef stock. Additionally, French onion soup typically contains wine or sherry, which isn't typical or necessary in other onion soups.

How do you deepen the flavor of French onion soup? ›

A few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf elevate the soup even more, but I take it a step further, adding a splash of fish sauce for complexity and depth—don't worry, it won't taste fishy—and a hit of cider vinegar to balance some of that oniony sweetness.

What is a fun fact about French onion soup? ›

Its history

A legend has helped to restore the image of this soup: it is said that while King Louis XV slept in his hunting lodge, he woke up because of a nocturnal craving. He would then have made a soup from what he had on hand: onions, butter and champagne.

What is the history and origin of French onion soup? ›

Legend has it that this humble dish was invented by King Louis XV in the 18th century: upon returning to his hunting lodge late one night and being overcome by a ravenous hunger, he threw together the only ingredients he could find in the kitchen: onions, butter, and champagne, simmering the 3 together to create a ...

Who invented French onion soup? ›

While some attribute the recipe to King Louis XV who, returning from a hunt, saw his cupboards were bare except for onions, butter, and Champagne (serious First World problems), others claim Louis got the idea from Stanislas Leszczynski, duke of Lorraine and father of the Queen Consort of France.

Why is French onion soup so good? ›

French onion soup is the ultimate comfort food. Onions get slowly cooked until sweet and caramelized, then simmered in rich broth until they're practically falling apart. To finish it off, toasted bread is added to give it that lovable crisp-gone-soggy texture and a generous amount of Gruyère cheese is melted on top.

Is French onion soup a thing in Paris? ›

An emblematic dish of French cuisine , onion soup is traditionally served in the bistros and brasseries of Paris, usually in the late evening, or even late at night.

Why did Vikings use onion soup? ›

If a man was wounded in the stomach during a battle, women would feed them a potent onion soup. If they could smell the broth through the wound, they knew the stomach wall was cut—signaling that the man would not survive his wounds.

Why did Panera change their French onion soup? ›

Panera Bread is working to regain customers' loyalty in 2020 with the reintroduction of its fan-favorite French Onion Soup. 2019 was a year of food news for Panera, not all of it positive. First, it removed the French Onion Soup, a staple on the menu for over 20 years, to make room for seasonal menu items in June.

Why is my French onion soup too sweet? ›

Onions are very sweet, especially when they're cooked down, and that is the main purpose of onion soup. The sweetness can be balanced by adding some dry wine or vinegar. Taste as you go and don't overdo it. A little salt will balance it too, but don't forget that the grated cheese you will top it with is salty.

Why do you put baking soda in French onion soup? ›

The caramelized onions for this soup cook more quickly due to a pinch of baking soda but still have that deep, slow-cooked flavor. Topping the soup with hot, cheesy toasts prepared while the soup simmers, eliminates the need to bake the soup in specialty French onion soup bowls.

Why does my French onion soup taste burnt? ›

If the heat is too high, the onions will burn. If you don't stir often at beginning and almost constantly toward the end, the onions will burn. If one little bit burns the whole batch needs to be tossed. Otherwise the soup ends up tasting like burnt onion.

What is the best wine to use in French onion soup? ›

Wine is optional to deglaze the pan and add flavour to the soup. I recommend a dry white or red wine, such as a good quality Pinot Grigio/Gris, Sauv Blanc, Sémillon, Chardonnay, Merlot or Pinot Noir. Generally, if you can't drink it, don't cook with it.

Why French onion soup is popular in France? ›

Because onion soup has long been deemed a hangover cure, the French equivalent of a 2 AM slice of pizza or falafel wrap. It's a tradition that may have gotten its start at the ancestor of the world's largest food market in Paris. The market known as Les Halles was founded in 1135 by King Philippe-Auguste.

Is French onion dip from France? ›

History. French onion dip, made of sour cream and instant onion soup, was created by an unknown cook in Los Angeles in 1954. The recipe spread quickly and was printed in a local newspaper.

Is onion soup popular in France? ›

French Onion Soup is perhaps the most iconic and well-traveled of all French dishes. Worldwide it has seduced more stomachs than even our beloved New England clam chowder, which incidentally, is another French export. Onion soup is, as author Robert Courtine suggests, “a daughter of the streets…


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