French Onion Soup is one of my favorite things to eat when out at a restaurant – but not something I ever really make at home.
It’s rich, salty, full of sweet and salty onion flavor – and the cheese and bread on top are heavenly.
I never really put in the time making French Onion Soup at home – I made Alton Brown’s recipe once in college and remembered I really liked it, but when I went back to make it again recently I didn’t have all the ingredients he called for – so I decided to make some tweaks and come up with my own spin off his Good Eats classic.
I was really inspired by a recent trip we took over Christmas to Western Germany, which included a day trip to Strasbourg France.
Strasbourg is such a lovely city (I’ll be sharing more from Strasbourg soon!) full of both German and French architecture (thanks in part to the tumultuous history of the Alsace region, as it was controlled by France and Germany in the past)- and while Strasbourg gives those visiting France some delicious German offerings, we’d been dining on schnitzel and spaetzle for a week already, and went straight for the French food during our visit, including having some delicious onion soup!
I was dying to recreate some of our meal at home – and I knew French Onion Soup would be a great dish to start off with.
This soup is so easy to make – and so delicious!
It is bursting with flavor, and requires very little skill (just a bit of patience!).
It’s perfect for dinner parties or romantic evenings since you can make most of it ahead of time, and simply pop it into the oven to broil the cheese when you’re ready to eat!
While an electric skillet isn’t necessary (you could use a big pan to slowly caramelize the onions and then transfer it to a large pot), but the electric skillet does make it much easier – and I bought a fantastic skillet that is under $30 shipped on Amazon.
I based a lot of this recipe off Alton Brown’s classic onion soup recipe, but changed it up since I don’t always have all his ingredients on hand. I LOVE his suggestion of using the electric skillet for this though – it really does help slowly cook the onions without burning them.
The Best French Onion Soup Ever
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 large yellow onions, sliced into half-moons
- ½ cup red wine or ½ cup apple cider
- 2 tsp celtic sea salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tsp basil
- 12 oz beef broth
- 2 cups gruyere cheese, shredded
- 4 slices of thick (slightly stale) bread
- Add butter into skillet and melt on medium heat.
- Slowly add in onions, separating them into single slices.
- Add wine or cider and let reduce on low, without stirring.
- Add salt.
- When onions have reduced in size by half and begin to slightly brown, add spices and stir.
- Let reduce further, until dark brown (not burned).
- When onions are deep brown (about 1 hour later), add in stock.
- Let cook on low for another 30 minutes- do not let boil.
- Preheat oven to broil on high.
- Scoop soup into ramekins or oven ready crocks and top with bread and shredded cheese.
- Add into oven and broil until cheese is browned and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and top with cilantro, green onions, or red pepper flakes, if desired.
- Serve immediately.