Homemade French Onion Soup in a bowl
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Homemade French Onion Soup

Turn Vidalia sweet onions into homemade French Onion Soup. It's a great project for a lazy afternoon..you’ll be glad you did!
Adapted from Epicurous and Michael Ruhlman
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 20 mins
Total Time2 hrs 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: French Onion Soup, Savory Soup
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 555kcal
Author: Tammy Spencer, Scotch & Scones

Special Equipment


  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, divided (see Recipe Notes)
  • 3 lbs Vidalia onions, about 4 medium, halved lengthwise, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 cups homemade beef stock or store-bought low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 baguette
  • 1 garlic cloves, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 tsp sherry, preferably Fino or Manzanilla (see Recipe Notes)
  • 4 ounces Gruyère or Emmentaler cheese (about 1 cup), grated


From Michael Ruhlman:

  • An enameled cast-iron pot will provide the best surface. Place the pot over medium heat and melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt, cover, and cook until the onions have heated through and started to steam. Uncover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally (you should be able to leave the onions alone for an hour at a stretch once they’ve released their water). Season with several grinds of pepper.

Going back to Epicurious:

  • When the onions have completely cooked down, the water has cooked off, and the onions have turned amber – this can take 1 or more hours (mine took 1-1/2 hours) – add wine and raise heat to high. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Tie thyme and bay leaves into a bundle with twine. Add stock, water, and herb bundle to pot with onions. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until broth is thickened and flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Taste and adjust seasoning (you can add ½ tsp sugar if the soup isn’t sweet enough, but I find I don’t need it).
  • Heat the broiler. Cut two 1/2-inch baguette slices for every serving of soup. Place baguette slices on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until crisp and dry but not browned, about 1 minute per side (or just use a toaster). Rub one side of each toast with the garlic clove and set aside.
  • Place oven safe bowls on a rimmed baking sheet, add 1/2 teaspoon of sherry to the bottom of each, and ladle soup on top. Top each serving of soup with two garlic-rubbed toasts. Divide cheese among the servings, covering the bread and some of the soup. Carefully broil the tops of the soup with a Chef’s torch until cheese is melted and bubbling or transfer baking sheet to oven and broil, 4 to 8 minutes. Alternatively, if using regular soup bowls: Top each garlic-rubbed toast with some cheese and return to broiler to melt, about 2 minutes more. Divide sherry and soup among bowls, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top each serving with two cheese toasts.

Recipe Notes

Do ahead: Soup can be made up to 3 days ahead (without toasts or cheese) if refrigerated, or up to 6 months ahead if frozen. Toasts can be made (without cheese) and kept sealed at room temperature for up to 3 days.
I used 3 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter) for cooking the onions, and 2 Tbsp butter to finish the soup instead of using all butter.
I used Cognac instead of sherry (that's what I had on hand).
Nutrition Facts
Homemade French Onion Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 555
* Percent daily values are based on a 2,000 cal per day diet.
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