French Onion Soup
Recipes,  Soups, Stews & Chilis

French Onion Soup {with Pumpernickel Croutons}

French Onion Soup

When I make French Onion Soup I know my family feels loved.  That makes me happy.  A big pot of buttery caramelized onions, fresh herbs & garlic, nice rich beef stock, topped with an over-sized crouton smothered with cheese.  It’s LOVE I tell you.

To begin, make a giant pot of caramelized onions, as many as you can fit in your big dutch oven.  I know the recipe calls for 4 large onions, but if you have more in the pantry and they’ll fit in the pot, slice them up.  They will cook down quite a bit and you can always put them on your grilled cheese sandwiches tomorrow. 

Caramelized Onions
Caramelized Onions
Caramelized Onions

I made the caramelized onions the night before and then turned them into these little pots of LOVE for lunch.  I warmed the onions then added minced garlic, fresh thyme, a bay leaf, salt & pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine.  The red wine gets cooked off until it has evaporated, leaving the onions with a rich full bodied flavor.  A dusting of flour gets cooked in before adding beef stock with a final simmer.  This soup is fantastic at this point. 

French Onion Soup

However, I’m a sucker for cheese.  And a cheese topped over-sized crouton really makes me happy.  So I cut some nice thick slices of day old pumpernickel bread (which will now be my staple French Onion Soup topper) and toasted it slightly.  Filled my favorite collection of crocks with the soup, nestled a piece of toasted bread on each, then a thick slice of melty cheese like Havarti or Gruyere, and under the broiler they went.  French Onion Soup {with Pumpernickel Croutons}.  It’s LOVE I tell you.

French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Libby with Lemony Thyme
5 from 2 votes
Course Soup
Servings 4


  • 3 Tbl. butter
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • 4 large onions sliced for caramelizing
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 cup red wine can sub white wine or omit
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 4 thick slices crusty bread
  • 4 thick slices Havarti or Gruyere Cheese


  • In a large dutch oven over medium-low heat, add butter, olive oil, and sliced onions. Stir to coat onions in butter then allow to cook untouched for 10 minutes, until caramelizing begins. Stir well, then allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes untouched. Stir, cook another 5 minutes, onions should be turning a nice golden brown. Continue cooking, stirring every 3-4 minutes until the desired color is achieved.
  • Add in minced garlic, bay leaf, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for an additional minute, then add in wine and Worcestershire sauce. Allow to simmer gently until the wine has absorbed. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs, discard.
  • Dust onion mixture with flour and cook slowly for 5-7 minutes. Then add beef broth and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to broil. Butter and toast crusty bread slices. Ladle soup into crocks, place toasted bread on top of each crock and top with a slice of cheese. Broil until lightly browned and bubbly.


  • Kristy

    5 stars
    I am so excited about this recipe! I’m not supposed to have beef – has anyone tried it with chicken or turkey broth? I know, it won’t be quite the same. I’ll let you know!

    • libby

      Kristy, it will be delicious with chicken broth. The onions and herbs will make it all happy. Let me know how it turns out and thanks for coming by.

  • Michele Maddox

    5 stars
    Total wow! Follow this taste treat with marinated beef kabob, rice au ju and sauteed mushrooms. One of my all time favorite meals!!

    • libby

      Hi Sarah. Thanks for coming by. I have to say caramelizing the onions the night before made the soup so much more enjoyable. Easy, easy. And it brought my daughter Shelby home last night for a big bowl full. Winning. Take care, Libby

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