How to Make French Onion Soup

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Fall is a great time to make homemade French onion soup. Here is an easy recipe for making French onion soup.

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This post is all about how to make French onion soup, including tips on how to caramelize onions, how to freeze French onion soup, and recommended tools and ingredients to make French onion soup.

French onion soup is a classic soup made using simple, seasonal ingredients, and it freezes well, too. Here are some tips on how to make French onion soup.

Writing about fall seasonal foods brings to mind one of the best, and perhaps most unappreciated fall seasonal foods, the mighty yet humble onion.

Onions are cheap, yet delicious, food. They are often used to season other foods, but they stand well on their own when making onion rings or delicious French onion soup.

Hearty soups are perfect for fall and winter, when the cold weather makes us want to stay indoors. Many soups can be frozen, so that you have meals ready to eat on days when you don’t feel like cooking.

French onion soup is easy to make, warming, and filling. Cheesy bread topping makes this recipe.

Making French onion soup is an exercise in slow living. The onions need time to caramelize the onions well, which brings out their sweet flavor. Then the soup should simmer for a long time, so that the onions become infused with the flavors of the beef stock and herbs.

In This Post | How to Make French Onion Soup

How to Caramelize Onions

Caramelized onions are onions that have been cooked down to a golden brown color. The process helps to help bring out an onion’s flavor and sweetness.

Sweet onions are the best onions to use for caramelizing. Look for varieties like Maui onions, Oso Sweet onions, Sweet Spanish onions, or Walla Walla onions at the farmer’s market or grocery store. But if you can’t get sweet onions, then you can use any cooking onions that you have on hand.

Peel and slice the onions, then set them aside. Heat butter or olive oil in a large pot, then add sliced onions. A general rule of thumb is to use 2 tablespoons of butter or oil for three medium-sized onions.

Cook the onions over low heat, stirring occasionally. The onions will start soften and turn translucent.

Eventually, the onions turn will golden brown in color as the sugars in the onion cook. The process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour, so be patient. The onions should be cooked slowly over low heat for best results.

Check onions frequently while they are caramelizing, and stir them frequently to help prevent the onions from burning and sticking to the pan.

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How to Make French Onion Soup

French onion soup is made by caramelizing sliced onions, before simmering them in a beef stock with seasonings. The soup is topped with toasted bread and cheese before serving.

First, gather your ingredients and measure them out, so that they are easy to add to the pot as you go through the recipe.

Once the ingredients are ready, heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. After the butter is melted, add sliced onions to the pot.

Cook the onions until they are caramelized. This process may take 30 to 45 minutes, or longer. Cook the onions until they are tender and golden brown. Stir the onions frequently to keep them from burning. A large bamboo spoon or wooden spoon is great for stirring.

Add the beef stock to pot. Stir to combine the ingredients. Bring the ingredients to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer the soup for 25 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat bread slices with oil, or toss bread cubes with oil to coat.

Arrange the bread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and toasted.

Ladle the French onion soup into bowls. Top each bowl of soup with toasted bread and grated cheese. Allow the cheese to melt before serving the French onion soup.

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How to Freeze French Onion Soup

Here are some tips on how to freeze French onion soup.

First, let the soup cool. Remove any cheese or toasted bread from the soup, as these ingredients don’t freeze well.

Portion the soup and transfer it to sealable, freezer safe containers or heavy duty freezer bags. Seal, label the containers or bags with contents and date of adding to the freezer, and then freeze.

Freezer containers make it easy to store and organize food in the freezer, plus they are often reusable. There are two ways that we like to freeze soup. One is by freezing the soup in one or two cup increments, which makes it easy to heat up a bowl of soup for lunch or dinner. These Souper cubes make it easy to freeze soup in small amounts.

The second way is by freezing soup in larger amounts that make it easy to heat up soup for weeknight family dinners. When freezing soup, be sure to leave a small amount of headspace for the liquid to expand as the soup freezes, and label the containers so that you know what is in them.

French onion soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat the soup again, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, before reheating in the microwave or in a pot on the stove top.

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Recommended Tools

To make French onion soup, it can be helpful to have a few ingredients and kitchen tools, including:

Onions.

Sweet onions are the best onions to use for making French onion soup. Use about 3 pounds of onions to make a large pot of soup. French onion soup can be frozen to make other meals.

Beef stock.

A few quarts of beef stock are used to simmer and flavor the onions. Unsalted beef stock makes it easier to season the soup according to your taste, but salted beef stock can work well, too. Beef stock is a perfect pantry staple to have on hand to make other great soups and stews, like Beef Bourguignon.

Fresh thyme.

Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme to the pot as the soup simmers. This will help to give the soup flavor. Remove the thyme once the soup is done, before serving.

Bread.

French onion soup is topped with toasted bread and cheese to serve. Choose hearty bread to slice or cube. Coat the bread with oil and toast it before adding it to the soup bowls.

Cheese.

Swiss cheese or Gruyère cheese are the best cheeses to use when making French onion soup. Grate the cheese, then sprinkle it over the bread in each soup bowl. The heat from the soup helps the cheese to melt.

Cutting board.

A sturdy cutting board is used to slice the onions that will be used to make the soup.

Vegetable knife.

A good vegetable knife makes it easier to slice onions to use to make the soup.

Stock pot.

A heavy duty stock pot is a must have for making hearty soups and broths.

Dutch oven.

You can also use a Dutch oven to make French onion soup and other cozy fall soups. A Dutch oven is one of my favorite tools to use in the kitchen during fall and winter. You can use it to make so many things, including soups and stews, casseroles, roasts, and Dutch oven bread.

Spoons.

A big spoon is needed to stir the onions and the soup. It’s also helpful to have a spoon rest to place the spoon on when you’re not using it, and a utensil crock to store your kitchen utensils in. It can be good to have a selection of spoons and other kitchen utensils to choose from.

Ladle.

A ladle is handy for transferring soup from a soup pot to the bowls.

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Easy French Onion Soup Recipe

Here is how to make an easy French onion soup that you’ll love to eat this fall and winter.

Easy French Onion Soup Recipe

Here is an easy French onion soup recipe for the family to love.
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Here is a list of ingredients for making this easy French onion soup recipe.

For the soup

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 lbs sweet onions peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 quarts 8 cups beef stock
  • ¼ cup dry white wine optional

For the bread and cheese topping

  • 4 thick slices bread sliced or cubed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Grated Swiss cheese or Gruyère cheese

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add sliced onions to the pot.
  • Cook frequently to keep them from burning.
  • Add beef stock to pot. Stir to combine ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat bread slices with oil, or toss bread cubes with oil to coat.
  • Arrange the bread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 5 to 7 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and toasted.
  • Ladle onion soup into bowls. Top each bowl with toasted bread and grated cheese. Allow cheese to melt before serving.

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This post was all about how to make French onion soup, including tips on how to caramelize onions, how to freeze French onion soup, and recommended tools and ingredients to make French onion soup.

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