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Perfect Classic French Onion Soup
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5 from 1 vote

Perfect French Onion Soup

Aged Gruyère is key to getting the traditional bubbling crust of cheese; it's rich, smooth, and melts easily.
Course: Main
Author: Debbie


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter plus more for the baking sheet
  • 4 medium-large yellow onions about 2 lb., thinly sliced so you get about 8 cups
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small baguette 1/2 lb., cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 quarts Beef Broth or Chicken Broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups grated Gruyère Cheese


  • Melt the butter in a 4-quart pot over medium heat.
  • Stir in the onions and season with 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover the pot with a lid, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft but not falling apart, 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Remove the lid raise the heat to medium high,cook, stirring often, until browned, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the baguette toasts.

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
  • Butter a rimmed baking sheet and arrange the baguette slices on the sheet in a single layer. Bake until the bread is crisp and lightly browned, turning once, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Set aside.

To Make the Soup

  • Add the broth and bay leaf to the caramelized onions and bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.
  • Discard the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve

  • Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high.
  • Put 6 to 8 broiler proof crocks on a baking sheet.
  • Put 2 or 3 toasts in each bowl and ladle the hot soup on top.
  • Sprinkle with the cheese and broil until the top is browned and bubbly, 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.