My Ode to French Onion Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2h30mins-3hours


4 lbs of onions (halved and thinly sliced, about ¼ inch thick)

3 tbsp of avocado oil (or olive oil

1 tbsp of butter

One head of garlic (cut in half, keeping all of the cloves together)

Salt to taste

¼ tsp pepper (or to taste if you trust yourself not to over pepper the onions!)

⅓ cup of any red wine (I prefer a pinot noir)

            -a golden rule: if you can’t drink it, don’t cook with it!

10 cups of beef broth

-you can make your own broth (preferred method) but if you’re a college student like me, and simply don’t have the time, space, or money, store bought broth will work great!

1 bay leaf

1 tsp of thyme

Optional: Cheesecloth


In a large pot, heat the oil and butter on medium heat. Place the garlic cut side down in the pot and leave it undisturbed for 5 minutes. The garlic should be starting to brown when you pick it up–place it on a plate to save for later use. 

Place the onions in the pot, add salt and pepper, and stir to incorporate. Cook the onions for 60-70 minutes, stirring occasionally and more often as the onions start to brown. (Keep in mind, this process cannot be rushed!) The onions should be a dark brown and the bottom of the pot should have a layer of browned bits. (Don’t be alarmed if the inside of the pot looks burnt, you want that!) 

Pour in the wine and begin to scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add in your broth/stock of choice and bring to a boil. 

In a cheesecloth, wrap up your bay leaf, thyme, and garlic from before. Once the pot comes to a boil add the cheese cloth. Reduce the heat and let simmer undisturbed for about 45-50 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by about a third. (if you don’t have a cheesecloth, you can always add the sprigs of thyme, garlic, and bay leaf into the pot on their own, just be sure to remove them before serving. 

Then, remove the cheesecloth and give the pot one final stir. Pour the soup into ramekins or a broil-safe container and toast a slice of sourdough or your favorite baguette. Top it with gruyere and place it on top of the soup, broil for 4-5 mins, or until the cheese starts to brown.

This soup is tedious but worth it. It is perfectly rich and satisfying without being too heavy, making it the perfect appetizer for a winter’s dinner, or something to warm you up on a cold day.

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