French Onion Soup

Would you believe that I’ve had this sitting in drafts folder for SEVEN months? I’m not sure how or why but somehow I completely forgot all about posting this, but the upside is that I found it just in time for the start of the cooler weather. I’ve always loved onion soup, but ever since our last trip to Paris in November 2013 it will forever be associated with the memories of those steaming bowls of goodness complete with crusty slices of baguette and melted cheese, warming us up and providing comfort in the cool crisp Autumn of that time.

I skip the baguettes and cheese as a favour to my waistline, but if you want to go the extra mile feel free to grill some slices of crusty bread, and melt some Gruyere or Comte on top before adding it to the bowl.

I’ve seen versions of this soup that have it ready to eat in under thirty minutes, but in my opinion it’s all about the time you take to gently caramelise the onions, and there’s just no way that can be done properly that quickly. I allow at least thirty minutes for that part, then another thirty minutes or so for the rest. The extra time you take will pay off in the end results.


  • a little olive oil
  • 50 g of butter {regular salted, not unsalted}
  • one kilo of brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 2 litres of good quality vegetable stock {you could also use beef stock for a richer flavour}
  • salt and pepper
  • Optional: toasted baguette slices topped with melted cheese


  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy based pot or deep saucepan. When the butter has melted add the onions, and cook gently on a low heat, for thirty to forty minutes. You can cover the pot or pan, and remember to stir frequently. Very slowly the onions will soften, turn translucent, and eventually they will caramelise and be golden and sweet.
  • When the onions have caramelised add the onion and thyme and gently fry for a minute or so, then add the wine and turn the heat up to deglaze the pan. Bubble on high for a few minutes, then add the stock and a little pepper. Cover with a lid, turn down to a very gently simmer, and leave it to cook for thirty minutes. After this time check to see if it needs any further seasoning. Remove any stalks from the thyme, and it’s ready to serve.
  • If you like you can serve it with the toasted cheesy slices of crusty bread. Bon apetit.

4 Thoughts

  1. It’s hard to find vegetarian French Onion at restaurants and I’ve never made it myself. Plus all the canned version or packets(I know gross) are always meat based brothers. So thank you for posting this recipe with vegetable stock!!

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