French Onion Soup

The ingredient list is small, but all the time and attention put into cooking the onions adds up to big flavor in this classic bistro soup.
Save Recipe
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 55 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
Share This Recipe


6 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 bay leaves

3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cups dry white wine

8 cups low-sodium beef broth

8 slices crusty bread (about the size of the top of the soup crocks)

3 cups shredded Gruyere


Special equipment:
Eight 12-ounce soup crocks
  1. Melt the butter in a very large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add half the onions and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Top with the remaining onions and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and more pepper. Add the bay leaves and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and just begin to turn brown, about 1 hour. (The onions will begin to stick to the bottom of the pan and turn brown after about 30 minutes; just keep scraping them up and stirring them into the rest of the onions.)
  2. Add the wine to the pot, bring to a simmer and cook until it has almost completely evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the beef broth and 1 cup of water, bring to a simmer and cook until the flavors have come together and the soup is rich, about 45 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Either keep the soup warm on a low burner or cool completely, refrigerate and reheat later. (The cooked soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or cooled and frozen for up to 1 month.)
  3. Preheat the broiler. Place four soup crocks on a rimmed baking sheet and fill them about 3/4 of the way with hot soup. Float a slice of bread on top of each and cover with Gruyere. Broil until the Gruyere is golden brown (don't be alarmed if some soup bubbles out), 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining soup, bread and Gruyere.