No Fuss French Onion Soup is a delicious simple soup that is made with caramelized onions, beef stock, toasted bread, and topped with cheese for a classic taste without the fuss.
One of the best things about cooking from scratch is the ability to come up with new creations. I didn’t make up French onion soup of course so I can hardly take any credit for it. However, the ability to recreate something we have indulged in while out is equally as enjoyable. I often get ideas for new recipes this way and also like creating my versions of something I have tried.
That is where this No Fuss French Onion Soup comes in. It has all the richness of a French onion soup but without the high-end fussiness, I have found when trying to search for a recipe for it in the past. I find one of the most important elements of a good French onion soup is to caramelize the onions. A task that seems to be much more complicated than in reality.
Cooking the onions on a lower heat and allowing their flavors to slowly melt out. I do use a bit of sugar to help this process along. But I find it rather odd the many recipes out on the internet that choose to skip this all-important step. After all, this is an onion soup and so it is important to develop the flavors of those onions.
Why I Love This Soup
Traditionally in French onion soup, the recipe would call for thinly sliced yellow onions. In this soup, you can use any sort of onions you have on hand. Red, white, or yellow as I do. I have found no issue in doing so and this always helps save me a trip to the store. I don’t tend to enjoy or repeat recipes that are fussy and call for particular items that can’t be substituted.
The love for making this soup comes from not just the flavor of it but it utilizes most pantry staples I keep on hand. Most of which can be fairly easy to substitute. So I can make up a delicious satisfying soup without issue. It is also a great soup to make to use up those leftover sourdough loaves I have on my countertop. If you bake bread, you know exactly what I am talking about.
As written this recipe for No Fuss French Onion Soup has all the elements of a great French onion soup. The crispy bread, cheese topping, rich broth, and properly cooked onions.
What You Will Need To Make It
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp of butter
3 tbsp dry sherry (or white wine works too)
4 cups sliced onions
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp sugar
5 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
8 slices Gruyere cheese (provolone and mozzarella works great too)
4 slices of french or sourdough bread (baguette size slices)
salt and pepper to taste
You can begin by thinly slicing your onions. Halve them first and then cut them into long thin strips. Heat a large stock pot with the butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil. This way you have 5 tbsp of fat combined in the pot to cook the onions.
Add the sliced onions with the thyme, salt, and pepper. When they begin cooking down you can sprinkle the sugar in to help them caramelize. Stir the onions. I find they take about 20-25 minutes to properly caramelize.
While waiting for the onions, you can drizzle the remaining oil olive over your bread slices. I like to do front and back to ensure they come out extra crunchy. Pop them under a broiler toast until golden and crisp. Set them aside.
When the onions are ready deglaze the pan with the dry sherry, stirring around the bits on the bottom of the pot. Add your beef stock and a bay leaf. Add any additional salt and pepper needed.
Allow the soup to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Ladle the soup into oven-safe bowls or croquet. There is enough soup to make four bowls.
Add the slice of bread to each bowl, top with 2 slices of cheese each.
Place the soup bowls onto a baking sheet and pop them under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and browns slightly. About 5-8 minutes.
What other cheese can I use for this?
I have made this soup with many different kinds of cheeses and all have worked just fine. Some have been Munster, provolone, Swiss and even mozzarella work fine for this too. The cheese does not have to be in the sliced form either. I like to use it that way because I find it easier and this is a recipe for a no-fuss version of it. But if you use grated cheese you will need about 1/3 cup for each bowl of soup just to give you an idea.
Can I use chicken stock?
You actually can, yes. The soup will taste just fine. But the beef stock is more traditionally used for French onion soup and it gives it a slighter richer taste. So there will be a subtle difference in the taste that you might not even notice.
Is this an actual French soup?
Yes, it is a French soup that originated in Paris, France in the 18th century. It was first introduced in the United States in New York. It remains a top soup in popularity and is so easy to make right at home.
What can be substituted out for the dry sherry?
You can use white wine in place of the cooking sherry. I often do this myself and find the flavor to be minimally changed if at all.
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- 3 tbsp of butter
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 4 cups of sliced onions
- 4 slices of french or sourdough bread
- 8 slices of gruyere cheese (provolone also works)
- 5 cups beef stock
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 3 tbsp dry sherry (or white wine)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp of sugar
- salt and cracked black pepper
- You can begin by thinly slicing your onions. Halve them first and then cut them in long thin strips.
- Heat a large stock pot with the butter.
- Add the sliced onions with the thyme, salt and pepper.
- When they begin cooking down you can sprinkle the sugar in to help them caramelize.
- Give the onions a stir.
- While waiting for the onions, you can drizzle the oil olive over your bread slices. Pop them under a broiler toast until golden and crisp. Set them aside when ready.
- When the onions are ready deglaze the pan with the dry sherry, stirring around the bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Add your beef stock and a bay leaf. Add any additional salt and pepper needed. Allow the soup to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Ladle the soup into oven safe bowls or croquets. There is enough soup to make four bowls.
- Add the slice of bread to each bowl, top with 2 slices of cheese each.
- Place the soup bowls onto a baking sheet and pop them under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and browns slightly. About 5-8 minutes.
Serving Size:1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 620Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 1380mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 4gSugar: 14gProtein: 28g
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