Basic French Onion Soup


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Serve this classic soup with French bread and Parmesan or Gruyere cheese.

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  • 4 qts. peeled and sliced onions (about 4 lbs.)
  • 1 Tbs. slivered garlic
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp. dried
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 C. light-bodied white wine
  • 7 C. homemade chicken stock or your favorite canned broth
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 C. good cognac or brandy (optional)

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In a heavy soup pot over low heat, slowly sauté the onions, garlic, and thyme with the butter and olive oil until they are deep golden brown. Stir regularly to make sure they don't burn. This may take 20 to 30 minutes or more, but be patient - the results are worth it! Add the wine, stock, and bay leaves and simmer partially covered for another 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper and add the cognac, if using. Ladle into warm bowls and top with a toasted bread and about 1/3 C. of cheese. Place the bowls under a hot broiler.

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