Make this classic French onion soup and serve alongside a homemade French baguette, then check out our French onion tart, tartiflette, coq au vin, dauphinoise potatoes and more French-style recipes.

Looking for a meat-free version? Try our vegetarian French onion soup and vegetarian French onion tart which is based on a vegetable stock.


  • 75g butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1kg onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 10 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1.5 litres beef stock
  • 2 tsp Bovril, (optional)
  • 4 small slices sourdough
  • 200g gruyère, grated
  • a few good dashes Worcestershire sauce


  • STEP 1

    Melt the butter and vegetable oil in a large pan and add the onions, 3⁄4 of the thyme and a large pinch of salt. Cook very gently for 1 hour, stirring regularly, until the onions are really caramelised and jammy. Add the garlic and sugar for the final 15 minutes of cooking. Pour in the beef stock and add the Bovril, bring to the boil and season really well. Simmer for 30 minutes until reduced a little and the onions have melded with the stock.

  • STEP 2

    Toast the sourdough slices on either side, then load up with the gruyère, remaining thyme and a good dash of Worcestershire sauce. Divide the soup between 4 ovenproof soup terrines or bowls, and heat the grill to high. Put the bread pieces on top of each bowl of soup and grill for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is bubbling.

Check out more of our best soup recipes

Vegan Mexican Sweetcorn Soup Recipe with Ancho Chillies


Adam Bush Chef Portrait
Adam BushDeputy food editor

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