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French Onion Soup Recipe a Bistro Classic

Imagine a steaming bowl of French onion soup (soupe à l’oignon) with a cheesy gratin topping in a lively Parisian bistro. Today the dish is almost synonymous with the French capital, but it is entirely possible to find this soup on a menu in Provence during the colder winter months.

Traditionally made with a beef broth, you can substitute a vegetable broth for a vegetarian version of the soup. The key to whichever version you make is caramelizing the onions for the intense flavour.

The Culture Trip website offers us two possible origins of this French classic, which both happen to relate to French king Louis XV (yes, the guy who married Marie Antoinette). Whichever version you believe, this is a classic you will likely find grazing the tables of more traditional French brasseries in Paris.

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Let’s Eat the World - Cook’n With Class Experiences
Bring a taste of Paris to your home dining experience. Bon appétit!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people


  • 2 oz Butter
  • 2 tbsp Thyme Leaves
  • 2 lbs Brown Onions thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp Dry Sherry
  • 40.6 oz Water or Beef or Chicken Stock fresh, cube or concentrate
  • 1 Baguette sliced
  • 1 garlic clove halved
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
  • 10 oz Swiss Cheese grated


  • Heat the butter with 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan and gently cook the onion and thyme until the onion is softened but not too browned – about 20 minutes.
  • Increase the heat slightly and cook for 15 minutes, until the onion becomes dark golden, sticky and caramelized, stirring now and again to stop it from catching.
  • Add the sherry and simmer for 2-3 minutes, then add the stock and bring to a boil.
  • Season.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, toast the bread, rub each slice with garlic, then drizzle with a little oil.
  • Sprinkle with the cheese and grill until golden and bubbling.
  • Serve the soup with the cheese croutons on top.
Keyword French Recipes, Onions, Soups
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Let’s Eat the World - Cook’n With Class Experiences

Cook’n With Class has been in operation since 2007 in Paris offering French cooking classes (in English), to visiting tourists and locals interested in learning about the art of French cuisine from baking, French desserts, and French market classes that include market tours.

Chef Eric Fraudeau, who worked both in France and internationally (in Mexico, the United States, and Canada), along with his wife Yetunde Oshodi-Fraudeau, opened a second cooking school in southern France (Cook’n With Class Uzes) in 2015 focused on Mediterranean and Provencal Cuisine with hands-on French market classes and their very popular culinary holiday tour - The Week in Uzès. 2020 saw the birth of their latest brand which has since replaced their southern French cooking school - Let’s Eat The World - Cook’n With Class Experiences. Let’s Eat The World continues the tradition of Cook’n With Class to offer quality culinary experiences with vacation tours, masterclass workshops, and now, online cooking classes to bring French, Mediterranean, and Spanish cuisine directly into the homes of food and travel enthusiasts.

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