Rustic French Onion Soup in 60 Minutes

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french onion recipe

What’s Up, Hungry People?

Lately, I’ve been riding the soup wave, and let me tell you, it’s been the perfect remedy for hangovers and the common sniffles. With my kitchen looking like a mini soup factory, the urge to whip up a batch of French onion soup was one craving I couldn’t ignore. So, let’s squash the myth that this classic requires all day and a culinary degree, shall we?

First things first, French onion soup is not the food equivalent of rocket science. Honestly, if you’ve mastered the art of slicing onions and can practice a smidge of patience, you’re practically a stone’s throw away from a cozy dinner by the fireside.

Here’s What You Need:

  • White onions: Provide the soup’s base flavor; they sweeten as they caramelize.
  • Beef broth: Adds rich, deep umami and forms the soup’s liquid component.
  • Bay leaf: Infuses subtle, herbal undertones that deepen the broth’s flavor.
  • Sourdough bread: Offers a chewy, tangy contrast to the soup’s richness.
  • Dry white wine: Deglazes the pan and adds acidity to balance the sweetness of onions.
  • Butter: Used for cooking onions, adds richness and aids in browning.
  • Salt: Enhances all other flavors; add to taste.
  • Gruyère cheese: Melts into a gooey topping with a nutty flavor profile.
sauting onions

Onions, Glorious Onions

This is where your patience is tested. Crank your stove to a medium/medium-high heat and get some butter frothy. Then, introduce your onions to the skillet. After about eight minutes, they start getting their tan on, and by fifteen minutes, they’re looking golden and irresistible—oops, I mean, really tempting.

browning onions

Don’t Just Stand There, Deglaze

Here’s where the magic happens. Splash in some dry white wine or vermouth and let those onions bathe in it. Once they’ve had their fun, in goes the broth with a bay leaf as its sidekick. Crank up the heat to a boil, then dial it back to a simmer for twenty. During this time, feel free to daydream about the wonderful bowl of soup you’re about to devour.

caramelizing onions

The Final Stretch

Alright, time to preheat your oven—yes, we’re going to use that too—to a toasty 350°F (because we don’t want to be guessing temperatures here). Get your ladle ready and fill those ramekins to about three-fourths full. Top each one with a piece of thin sourdough bread and a generous sprinkle of shredded Gruyère cheese.

baked french onion soup

Bake and Wait

Pop those ramekins into the oven for about ten minutes, until the Gruyère decides to get all bubbly and melty. Give it a little rest afterward (we’re talking fifteen minutes here, because patience is a virtue and burnt tongues are not).

French Onion Soup: Tips & Tricks

  • Patience is Key with Onions: Let your onions caramelize slowly to avoid burning and to develop a full flavor.
  • Soup Pot Selection: Use a heavy-bottomed pot for even heat distribution when simmering your broth.
  • The Broth Quality Matters: Opt for high-quality beef broth as it’s the backbone of your soup’s flavor.
  • Cheese Choices: If you can’t find Gruyère, Swiss or a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan can be substitutes.
  • Bread Thickness: Too thick bread slices won’t soak up the soup well; too thin, and they may disintegrate.
  • Oven Watch: Keep an eye on the cheese as it bubbles and browns; every oven is different.
  • Cool Before Serving: Allow time for the soup to cool down post-baking to prevent scorched mouths.
  • Serving Size: When ladling soup into ramekins, leave room for bread and cheese to prevent overflows.
cheesy french onion soup

Alright, Hungry People, if you’ve stuck with me this far, you’re just about ready to dive fork-first into your own ramekin of comfort. This one hour french onion soup isn’t just a testament to what can happen when you’ve got onions, wine, and a bit of thyme (pun intended) on your hands; it’s a warm hug from me to your kitchen.

Grab those onions, pull out your favorite pot, and treat yourself to a soup that laughs in the face of those fancy, time-consuming recipes. Remember, a good bowl of French onion soup is like a good day: start with onions and end with melted cheese.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some bread that isn’t going to toast itself. Enjoy!

cheesey french onion soup

One Hour French Onion Soup

The Starving Chef
Savory French onion soup with caramelized onions, beef broth, and a bubbly Gruyère topping, ready in just an hour.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine French, Soup
Servings 4


  • 3 white onions sliced thin
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 slices sourdough bread 1/2 in thick
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter until frothy. Add the sliced onions and stir occasionally, allowing them to cook down for 40 minutes, or until they are softened and have a caramel brown color.
  • Transfer the cooked onions to a large soup pot, and add the beef broth and bay leaf. Season with salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, then remove it from the heat.
  • Ladle the soup into individual ramekins or traditional French onion soup crock pots. Place a slice of sourdough bread on top of the soup in each ramekin and cover with the shredded Gruyère cheese.
  • Place the ramekins in the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the Gruyère cheese is bubbling and has started to brown.
  • Allow the ramekins to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving, as they will be very hot. Serve with additional crusty sourdough bread on the side. Enjoy!
Keyword cheese, gruyere, onions, soup
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