You’re what the French call “les soupe à l’oignon”

Totally channeling Home Alone there…

Sorry, we are MORE than a few weeks out from Christmas and yes, I’ve already started watching holiday movies (don’t @ me), so Home Alone may or may not be on repeat.

You know what else has been on repeat?! This CRAZY COLD rain. I’ve been glued to my computer watching these horrific fires engulf whole communities in California, and ironically on the East Coast, we are on day 4 of being flooded with rain.

Just go westward, my friend. They NEED you. 🙁

We are starting to get a little case of cabin fever (#pressed), and my favorite remedy for being stuck indoors is to get my butt in the kitchen and start playing (or binge watch old episodes of Gossip Girl and 90210). I love trying to figure out recipes and this rainy weather had me craving a hearty soup, so French Onion Soup was next on my list to try to make.

Onion soup has been the traditional French hangover cure forever. French onion soup is the equivalent to a 2am McDonald’s run for those crack fries. Onion soups certainly didn’t begin with the French, but like most things culinary, the French surely perfected it.

I’m totally hungover on this dang rain, so French Onion soup was a MUST. My favorite part might be the gratinée…the broiled cheese/bread on top <3

There are so many recipes for French Onion soup but a few things are key:

  • It’s important to allow the onions time to cook down, absorbing all the delicious butter they can until they are perfectly soft. In my recipe below I have 10+ minutes, but they are REALLY special if you have time to let them slowly cook down for 30minutes or more.
  • Take special care to really flavor the broth. Salt is hugely important and I also like to add some aromatics — garlic, onions, herbs — to help!
  • The vino is essential IMO! I’ve used red wine, white wine, dry sherry, etc., and whichever you decide to use, don’t skip it. The nuances in flavor are not to be missed.

Enjoy! <3

All the {French} Onion Soup

The mix of alliums is so delightful paired with the rich beef broth and creaminess of the swiss/gruyere mix of cheese. 
Course Soup
Cuisine French
Keyword french onion soup, shallot french onion soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author jess masanotti


  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion Thinly Sliced in Rounds
  • 1 Leek Stalk Thinly Sliced in Rounds
  • 3 Shallots Thinly Sliced in Rounds
  • 2 Garlic Cloves Peeled & Smashed
  • 3-4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Red Wine (or sub Dry Sherry)
  • 1 Quart Beef Broth or Stock
  • 3-4 Leaves Fresh Sage
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Crusty Bread (baguette, french bread, sourdough, etc.)
  • Trader Joe's Swiss Gruyere Blend
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper


  • Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add in onions, leeks and shallots (separating the rings as your stir). Cook down until softened, 10-15 minutes. Stir often until alliums have a deep golden hue. Add in pulled thyme leaves, pinch of salt and continue to cook 2 minutes. 
  • In a dutch oven or soup pot, heat beef broth over medium-low with smashed garlic. Add in herbs to broth. (Pro tip: Tie the thyme springs, bay leaf & sage leaves together in a bouquet, to aid with removal later!) Add a large pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
  • Add in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to onion mixture, reduce heat to medium. Stir in wine, cook for 1-2 minutes. 
  • Add onion mixture to broth, scraping the pan of all that goodness. Increase the heat to medium-high, simmering for 10 minutes. Remove bouquet of herbs.
  • Preheat broiler on high.
  • Separately, toast bread slices until crispy (not burnt) in a toaster/toaster oven. Ladle soup mixture into oven-safe bowls, and top with toasted bread, followed by shredded cheese (I like to throw a few more thyme leaves on top of the cheese!).
  • Place all bowls on a baking sheet (easy to maneuver in/out of the oven) and into the oven for 3-5 minutes until bubbly, golden brown. Remove and serve!

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