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Three ramekins filled with french onion soup, topped with toasted french bread and gruyere cheese. Rosemary and thyme sprigs pictured next to the ramekins.

French Onion Soup Recipe

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  • Author: Speshyl Smith
  • Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This french onion soup has rich flavor from hour long caramelized onions, brandy to deglaze the pan, and fresh rosemary and thyme perfumed throughout. Topped with toasted french bread and gruyere cheese, it creates the perfect bite. 


Units Scale
  • 4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 67 (950g) yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond Crystal
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt, to season
  • black pepper, to season
  • french bread, sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces & toasted
  • gruyere cheese, grated for topping


  1. In a dutch oven over a medium-low flame, heat up the unsalted butter and olive oil until the butter is melted. Pour in sliced onions and sprinkle with one teaspoon each of kosher salt & granulated sugar. Stir to coat the onions in the butter and oil.
  2. For the next hour, stir the onions at least every five minutes. Around the 30 minute mark, you will start to see some color. Keep going! The color starts to change drastically in the last 15 minutes. Make sure the onions do not burn, brown too fast, or stick to the bottom of the pot. There will be some fond (brown bits) at the bottom of the pot. This is okay & normal.
  3. After the onions have taken on a rich brown color, add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Deglaze the pan by pouring in the brandy and scraping up the brown bits with your silicone spatula. Let the brandy reduce for a minute.
  4. Add in the balsamic vinegar, the beef stock and the herbs; rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves. I like to tie the herbs together with a piece of kitchen twine so that they’re easier to remove when plating the soup.
  5. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes. Remove the dutch oven from the heat & remove the herbs from the soup. 
  6. Portion the soup into oven safe bowls or ramekins and top with slices of toasted french bread and grated gruyere cheese. Place soup under a broiler for a few minutes, just to melt the cheese, & serve. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Category: Soup