Homemade French Onion Soup

A bowl of French onion soup.

French Onion Soup.   Crocks filled with sweet caramelized onion, rich, sherry-kissed stock, topped with a crusty baguette and reams of melty gruyere.  This is one of life’s true pleasures.  But to make it — and make it well,  you need beef stock, made from scratch right?  The kind of stock that comes from slow-roasting beef bones and simmering for days.  While it’s not difficult, it requires time that most of us don’t have.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Not anymore.  In a kind of serendipity, I’ve discovered Kettle and Fire real beef bone broth.  

This Homemade French Onion Soup post is sponsored by Kettle and Fire.  I received samples to use in this recipe.  All opinions are my own.  If you purchase from Kettle and Fire, I receive a small commission.  Thank you for supporting the brands that support Garlic & Zest!

YouTube video

It’s made from grass-fed beef bones, and is slow simmered for more than 20  hours.  

This broth is paleo friendly and gluten-free,  and it’s made from the same ingredients you would use in your own kitchen, if you had the time (check out the video, above).  And it’s exactly what I needed for this Homemade French Onion Soup.

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Sliced onions in a dutch oven.

While French Onion Soup may seem like an indulgence with a cheese-laden crouton crowning the bowl, you may not know that the bone broth in this soup is incredibly nutritious.   

Cooking down the onions and seasoning them with salt and pepper.
Caramelized onions in a dutch oven.

Nutritional Benefits of Real Bone Broth

Real bone broth is made from parts of the animal we typically throw away (bones, marrow, joints) and it’s slow-simmered for 12-24 hours.  

Animal bones contain collagen and the long cooking process breaks down the collagen into a more digestible form — gelatin. It’s the gelatin that contains many amino acids like glutamine which helps repair your gut lining, detox your liver, and reduce joint inflammation.  

Kettle & Fire Beef Bone Broth.

Sourcing Real Bone Broth

Trouble is, you don’t get those benefits with the canned beef broth in the grocery store.  

I checked and one of the more popular brands – doesn’t even contain beef bones… much less carrots, onions, etc. and it has way to much sodium.  The difference is huge!!!  Read more about the nutritional benefits of bone broth hereor scroll down to see the rest of this recipe.

Pouring bone broth into stock pot.

Homemade French onion soup starts with caramelized onions and I wrote a whole post on how to caramelize onions. In a nutshell… thinly slice the onions and simmer in a heavy pot until they give up their liquid and start to turn a golden color.  

Simmered French onion soup in a pot with a wooden spoon.

After they’ve caramelized, add dry white wine 🙂 and simmer until nearly all the liquid has evaporated.  Then add the bay leaves, thyme, and broth.

Mound of gruyere cheese, shredded.

The soup simmers for another 15 minutes and while it’s cooking,  Grate the gruyere and toast the sliced baguette rounds.  A little dry sherry added to each of the bowls gives the soup its familiar flavor.

Filling the crocks with sherry and onion soup, topping with crispy crouton.
adding shredded cheese to the croutons for homemade french onion soup.

Baking French Onion Soup

Top with crispy baguette slices and a generous sprinkle of shredded gruyere – then it’s in the oven for the last few minutes.  This has got to be one of my all-time favorite soups.  I love the part crispy, part gooey, and part soup-laden bread, the stretchy cheese, tender onions and savory broth.  If you’ve never made Homemade French Onion Soup yourself, what are you waiting for?

A crock of Homemade French Onion Soup

More soup recipes you’ll love:

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Homemade French Onion Soup
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5 from 3 votes

Homemade French Onion Soup

The best French Onion Soup with tender onions, sherry spiked beef broth and cheesy croutons!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Keyword onions, soup
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4


  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 large sweet onions about 2 pounds peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 cups Beef Bone Broth I used Kettle and Fire
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 slices baguette sliced into 1/2″ rounds
  • 1 garlic clove optional
  • 2 teaspoons sherry
  • 4 ounces gruyere cheese grated


  • In a large dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter and oil together. Add the sliced onions and cook for 15 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the salt and pepper. Place the lid askew on the pot and continue to cook for an additional 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally until they onions are caramelized. Moderate the heat if the onions are browning too quickly.
  • Add the wine and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes. Tie the thyme with a kitchen string into a tight bundle. Add the thyme, bay leaves and broth. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400°. Slice the baguette into rounds and place on a baking sheet. Bake the bread for about 4-5 minutes, then flip the slices and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until toasts are crisp and lightly browned. Lightly rub the garlic over one side of the toasts.
  • Turn up the oven to broil.
  • Remove the thyme and bay leaves and discard. Add half a teaspoon of sherry each to 4 ovenproof crocks or bowls. Ladle the soup into the bowls and place on a baking sheet. Rest 1-2 toasts on top of each bowl of soup, depending on how large they are (garlic side up) and sprinkle each with the gruyere.
  • Broil for 2-5 minutes until the cheese is melty and the edges of the bread are crisp. Serve.


Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 822mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 750IU | Vitamin C: 3.7mg | Calcium: 328mg | Iron: 1.5mg

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The BEST French Onion Soup with tender onions, sherry spiked beef broth and cheesy croutons! Easier to make than you think! #frenchonionsoup #onionsoup #easyfrenchonionsoup


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  1. 5 stars
    This looks fabulous! Can we pretend the bone broth’s health benefits offset the extra pieces of baguette I’m going to devour?

  2. Rona Ehlers says:

    5 stars
    Great idea on freezing extra carmelized onions. This saves time!
    I am having a senior moment but i have made this recipe several times & my friends request it for
    Get togethers, but where does the garlic come in.
    Again. I m seventy. I might have missed it
    The soup is so yummy it doesnt need it

    1. You’re right Rona! — I missed it in the instructions — thank you for pointing that out. I rub a clove of garlic lightly over the toasts before sprinkling with gruyere. It’s optional if you’re not a garlic fan. I’ve fixed the recipe. Thanks again!

  3. French onion soup is my FAVORITE soup! If only I had time to caramelize those onions all the time.. I’d probably eat this every day! LOVE!

    1. Actually, I will make large batches of caramelized onions and freeze them in individual containers so they’re ready whenever I need them.

  4. Renee Nicole's Kitchen says:

    This looks amazing! I haven’t had a good bowl of French onion soup since I was last in Paris. This looks like a much cheaper option!

    1. LOL – definitely cheaper than flying to Paris, but Paris is definitely worth it!

  5. I hated french onion soup growing up, but now I can’t get enough of it! I’ve got some gf bread going stale it would make perfect french onion croutons!

    1. Absolutely! I know what you’re cooking this weekend!

  6. French onion soup really is one of my favorite things ever and this recipe looks to-die-for!

  7. Looks absolutely delicious Lisa. I could use chicken broth instead of the beef broth though, right?

    1. I suppose you could, but to be honest, French onion soup is meant to have deep, rich beefiness to go with the onions. Of course, you’re a food blogger – so maybe you’ll make up a whole new MUST MAKE soup!

    1. It had been a while since I’d made one, but it was worth the wait!

    1. Hmmm – well, the alcohol in the wine is pretty much cooked off and there’s only half a teaspoon of sherry in each bowl — but they really do add the dimension to this soup that Makes It! Otherwise I might add more beef stock and perhaps add a little sugar and let it simmer for 20 -25 minutes.

    1. Thank you, Tina! This one was harder to shoot than usual!

  8. My goodness that looks and sounds absolutely amazing! I don’t ever believe I’ve had the pleasure, yet, of tasting French Onion soup. I must remedy this!

    1. You ABSOLUTELY MUST have a bowl of French Onion Soup. It’s non-negotiable!

  9. Andrea @ Cooking with Mamma C says:

    I love French onion soup, and this bone broth sounds wonderful! I appreciate the explanation about bone broth too, because I’ve heard about it, but never knew the difference between that and regular broth.

    1. There’s a huge difference between canned broth at the grocery store and the real stuff!

  10. There are not to many things that I enjoy more then a nice serving of good FO soup. The sherry is the bomb!

  11. Dahn @savor the Best says:

    I just love a good French onion soup. Isn’t it amazing what incredible flavor can come from simple ingredients. I love that you add a splash of sherry… so good

  12. French onion soup is my favorite! I love love love it! This broth looks like a great addition too!

    1. Katrina, as I was writing this post — I was thinking of you!