French cuisine is known around the world for its tasty yet simple dishes. With butter as the cornerstone of this region’s cooking, you can rest assured that every dish with the word “French” before it will be delectable. Another reason that French cooking has become so popular around the world is due to its relative simplicity. Anyone who knows their way around a kitchen can put together a great French dish. Without further ado, let’s explore the classic French onion soup.

This dish is a staple of French cuisine and one that most people have had some variation of. It’s a quick and simple recipe perfect for rainy or cold days when you don’t feel like investing too much energy in cooking. Although it’s soup, this dish is surprisingly filling. It’s capable of feeding your entire family if cooked in the right portions. Since soup and onions go with pretty much anything, this dish is also easy to customize to fit your personal tastes.

Ingredients

Since soups don’t require a lot of ingredients to begin with, there are countless versions of French onion soup. You can visit various regions throughout the country and each will have a unique variation. For simplicity’s sake, we’ve chosen some of the most common ingredients for this recipe. If you’re feeling creative, you can certainly add your own elements for a unique flavor.

  • 75 grams of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 kilogram of onions, thinly sliced and halved
  • 10 sprigs of thyme with the leaves picked off
  • 4 cloves of garlic that are thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of caster sugar
  • 1.5 liters of beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons of Bovril (this is an optional ingredient)
  • 4 slices of sourdough
  • 200 grams of grated gruyère
  • A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Preparation

Phase 1

Start by placing a large pan over low heat. Place vegetable oil and butter into the pan and allow the butter to melt and mix in with the oil. Next, add some salt, three-fourths of the thyme, and all of the onions. Cook on low for roughly an hour. Stir regularly. You’ll want the onions to come out very jammy and caramelized. In the last 15 minutes, add sugar and garlic. Throw in the Bovril and beef stock while bringing the entire mixture to a boil. Make sure to season the soup very well at this point. Finish off by simmering the mixture for around 30 minutes. The onions must meld with the rest of the stock.

Phase 2

Make sure the sourdough slices are toasted on both sides. Next, load those slices up with the rest of thyme, the gruyère, and some Worcestershire sauce. Split the mixture between 4 bowls or soup terrines that are ovenproof. Turn up the grill to a high setting and place the pieces of bread on top of the bowls of soup. Be sure to grill the dish for 2 to 3 minutes. You want to see the cheese bubbling.