Easy French Onion Soup

  • PrepTime: 10 Mins
  • CookTime: 1 Hrs 15 Mins
  • TotalTime: 1 Hrs 25 Mins


  1. 3 tablespoons butter
  2. 4 cups sliced onions (about 4 to 5 medium onions)
  3. 4 (10 1/2-ounce) cans condensed beef broth
  4. 4 slices French bread (approximately 1 inch thick)
  5. 4 tablespoons Gruyere cheese (shredded, plus more for serving)


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. In a large skillet or saute pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Sauté the sliced onions for about 30 to 45 minutes, or until very soft and golden brown in color. Stir them frequently. If they are browning too quickly or scorching, turn the heat to low. It takes time to get that sweet caramelization, so don't try to rush it.
  3. In a medium saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the beef broth with the cooked onion and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the broiler and place the French bread slices on a foil-lined baking pan. Toast the French bread about 4 inches from the heat until golden brown on both sides.
  5. Sprinkle each slice evenly with the Gruyere cheese. Return to broiler and broil just until cheese is melted and bubbling.
  6. To serve, pour the onion soup into four individual soup bowls. Float a slice of toasted French bread, cheese side up, in each bowl and sprinkle with extra cheese.
  7. Serve and enjoy!


  1. It takes time to caramelize onions to a rich, sweet, golden brown, so it shouldn't be rushed. Keep the heat low or medium-low and turn the onions frequently until they are soft and evenly browned. They should not be crusty or burnt.
  2. French onion soup may be frozen—without the bread and cheese—for up to three months in an airtight container.
  3. To make it in advance, prepare the onions and soup a day or two before you plan to serve it. Prepare the bread and cheese just before serving as you reheat the soup.
  4. If you don't have Gruyére cheese or can't find it locally, you may substitute with another type of Swiss cheese such as compté, Emmental, Beaufort, or Jarlsberg. Mozzarella will melt but lacks the flavor of Gruyére. Mild cheddar won't melt as nicely as Gruyere or mozzarella, but it is a good budget-friendly alternative.
  5. For more complex flavor, add a splash of dry sherry or Marsala wine to the soup about five minutes before it's ready.
  6. As soon as the French bread is toasted, rub each slice with the cut side of a clove of garlic before topping with cheese. Or spread the bread lightly with garlic butter.
  7. Taste and add a dash of Worcestershire sauce to the finished soup.
  8. Thyme goes well with onions. Add 2 to 3 sprigs of thyme to the soup when you add the broth; remove the thyme sprigs before serving. Alternatively, add about 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme to the soup.