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Easy French Onion Soup

“French onion soup is like a treasure chest. Break through the salty molten cheese and discover the gems of sweet caramelized onions inside!”

It’s hard not to love French onion soup. Like a treasure chest, maybe it’s the salty molten cheese that covers the top, and upon breaking the lock one encounters bread soaked with rich sweet broth and then last but certainly not least, one reaches the hidden gems made up of strands of caramelized onions. Ahh. Everyone has their own version, but pretty much they are all the same. I first encountered my treasure chest at the Magic Pan on Michigan Avenue, a very long time ago. And though I consider French onion soup a special treat, I really should make it more often. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that anything with cheese is verboten, because really this simple peasant broth is pretty calorie free. So if you must, just make the broth, but everyone needs a splurge now and then.

When I was married many moons ago we were gifted French onion soup crocks in the classic colors of gold and brown. They looked something like this.

Image result for french onion soup crocks

I kept them for many years on the top shelf where they gathered dust as they sat unused. They were never very attractive to me and since my kitchen dishes are blue and white I finally felt the urge to purge. And so I did. As my daughter says, or really Marie Kondo, if it doesn’t give you joy there is no reason to keep it. So after 20 some years I didn’t. When I’m in a purging mood I throw with gleeful abandon but those moods don’t strike me often. (This is a good thing because when I throw it generally means I’m in a really bad mood.) However when I  do toss – watch out. By chance if these gold and brown crocks with handles are in your cabinets, I hope they are not gathering dust. I hope they are bringing you joy. As much joy as this French Onion soup does me.

I now use deep white individual souffle dishes to make my soup and it works out just fine. I still am able to run them under the broiler and turn that cheese into molten lava. And I’m still able to break into the treasure chest just fine. Just fine indeed.

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Soup, French Onion soup

Yield: Serves 6Author: Abbe OdenwalderPrint Recipe
Soup, French Onion Soup, Easy Recipes

French Onion Soup

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 60 MINStotal time: 75 mins
French onion soup is like a treasure chest. Break through the salty molten cheese and discover the gems of sweet caramelized onions inside!


  • 3 T butter
  • 1 3/4 lb onions or 2 very large, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 8 c chicken stock
  • 1 c white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 12 slices crostini or toasted baguettes
  • 4 oz grated Gruyere cheese


  1. Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pot.  Add the thinly sliced onions. Partially cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes or until the onions are golden and beginning to caramelize.
  2. Add the garlic . Let soften for a few minutes. Blend in the stock and the wine, stirring until blended. Add bay leaf and thyme and season with salt and pepper. (This will depend on how salty your chicken stock is.) I do like plenty of fresh ground pepper but that is up to you.
  3. Cover the pot and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme and check for seasoning. Preheat the broiler.
  4. Using your choice of bowl, place the soup into bowls or souffle ramekins. Top with 1 layer of baguette slices. Sprinkle with grated cheese. I like to cover it thick! Place bowls in your broiler pan and then place under broiler until the cheese melts and turns golden. Serve while hot!
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  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    January 24, 2018 at 5:31 am

    Haven't had this French classic in a really long while…now you have me crave some! Yours looks fabulous, Abbe.

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    January 24, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Oooh, we love French onion soup! I'm going to try yours one of those cold days I don't want to leave the house. P.S. I love purging the house, too, though Bill thinks I get much more joy out of tossing his stuff!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 24, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      So funny. I get lots of joy from tossing his stuff! And he's not home to stop me!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    January 24, 2018 at 11:03 am

    I used to have those same bowls. And they sat on the same top shelf. And, just like you, one day I realized that I never used them! So out they went. But I could definitely find some bowls in my repertoire to make this delicious looking soup!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 24, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      I'm beginning to think many have those bowls Chris and they can still be had on Amazon! At a very reasonable place. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    January 24, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Love this dish! Soup is comfort food, but add yummy cheese? SO GOOD! I haven't made this for years, but it's been on my list of stuff to make (an impossibly long list). I agree with you on the "official" bowls, BTW — never did it for me, either. Anyway, good stuff — thanks.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 24, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      It is really good and so easy to make so why is it we don't make it more often?

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    January 25, 2018 at 2:27 am

    Your soup looks fantastic Abbe! My husband adores French Onion Soup – and could eat his weight in this stuff. Cheesy treasure for sure 🙂

  • Reply
    January 25, 2018 at 2:46 am

    OH my … you have really hit a soft spot with this household. We LOVE French onion soup. There is a restaurant in town that we go to just for the soup. Boy would I make my family happy if I would make this for them at home. Inspiring post! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Lavender and Lime (
    January 25, 2018 at 5:54 am

    I would order this in a heart beat but never make it. Dave is not a fan. I am like you, if it does not get used, toss it.

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats Celebrities
    January 25, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    It's been a lot cooler in LA which has been AMAZING and which also means, SOUP actually sounds like a GOOD TIME to me! hahahaha! Soooo I need to figure out how to make this GIGI approved, which will be fun 😉 Do love me some cooked onions and, I AM FRENCH soooo SHA-BAM!

  • Reply
    mimi rippee
    January 25, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    I always think of my burnt tongue when I see French onion soup, because I always burn my tongue on it! But who can resist melted Gruyere?!!

  • Reply
    Sippity Sup
    January 25, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    I remember Magic Pan. It must have been a change because I recall it from Detroit MI. I also remember those crocs my mom had something oh so similar. I occasionally see them in thrift stores and the nostalgia bug bites so I think about buying them. But I know that eventually I'd tire of them and purge them myself so I don't buy them. I guess the neat bug bites me harder than the nostalgia bug. But it's fun to remember anyway. Next time I break through the cheese of French Onion Soup I'll think of these crocs. GREG

  • Reply
    January 25, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    This is really one of my FAV soup. Sadly husband doesn't like. But I think I will make it just for me. So tempted right now.

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    January 26, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    We haven't had French Onion soup in too long! The toast and gooey cheese is the best part. I have some purging to do myself 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen
    January 26, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    I think my parents used to have crocks just like that! I'll have to raid their cabinets next time I visit in case they're still around somewhere :). I love French onion soup and it's been way too long since the last time I made it. I'll have to try your recipe!

  • Reply
    Agness of Run Agness Run
    January 27, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    I love such easy and palatable dishes, Abbe! Can't wait to give this onion soup a try!

  • Reply
    In Good Flavor
    January 27, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    This looks mouthwatering!! I think of French Onion Soup as a special treat too. Digging into one is pure bliss!

  • Reply
    Healthy World Cuisine
    January 28, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    We remember those little dust collecting crocks too! Seriously delicious all those caramelized onions and killer broth. So what time is dinner?

  • Reply
    Eva Taylor
    January 29, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment. French onion soup is my absolute favourite, I like making it with beef broth or even making my own beef bones broth; the beef bone broth adds such richness to the soup that cannot be replicated with chicken broth. I also have a Guiness onion soup recipe on the blog, boy that one was super tasty too. And if you're feeling thrifty, I have an vegetarian version on the blog using onion skins (don't laugh, it makes a deliciously rich and dark broth).
    Your photos are beautiful, the melty gruyere looks awesome. Several years ago, we bought ourselves some Émile Henry French Onion Soup bowls and they are fantastic to serve the soup in (you know, the ones with the little lion heads on the sides). They have an incredible heat retention capability.

  • Reply
    Amira's Pantry
    January 30, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Such a lovely soup in this weather … perfect!

  • Reply
    Evolve With Mary
    January 31, 2018 at 4:39 am

    I made onion soup once, it was a huge all day headache, but man was it delicious. It’s been a couple of years and I’m willing to do it all again but only because you made it soooo darn easy. These little French Onion Soup Crocks are adorable!!!! OMG look at all that cheese 🙂

  • Reply
    Gingi Freeman
    January 31, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    This looks amazingly tasty!!! I want!!!!!! –

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