French Onion Soup Recipe by

The recipe also describes how to make the easy cheese topped bead, essential for a soup like this.


 Preparation Time:    Cooking Time:  
 How Difficult Easy  Freeze?   Yes

4 portions

This is a great way of making use of the onions from your garden. You'll already have most of the other ingredients in your kitchen cupboard so no need to buy lots of ingredients. 

Don't be fooled by the fact that this is a French Onion Soup recipe! It's almost a main meal when combined with the bread a cheese. 

15 minutes preparation time
45 minutes cooking time

The ingredients in the French Onion soup recipe below will make enough for four good portions. As far as the French Bread is concerned, you can substitute it with normal white or brown bread that has been toasted. We used garlic bread which went down just lovely!

The exact proportions of some ingredients are a matter of taste. Some people really like the flavour of Worcestershire sauce and I know my son would double or even triple the amount I use. Have a taste of the soup when it's nearly cooked and add a bit more of what excites your taste buds.


How Much
Medium sized onions 


2 tablespoons of margarine or butter.

2 tablespoons

Beef broth (easiest to add 3 stock beef cubes to boiling water). Vegetarians use vegetable broth / stock. 850ml / 3 cups / 1 pints
White wine (sherry will also do). 120ml / cup
Worcestershire sauce. A dash (optional)
Dried / fresh thyme  1 teaspoon dried / 2 teaspoons fresh
Fresh garlic clove chopped up small 1
French Bread stick (normal bread will do fine) 1
Gruyere or mozzarella cheese to top the bread. Most cheeses will do as well. 1 tablespoon per topping
Pepper teaspoon
Salt to taste (not much needed) To taste

1 Medium-sized frying pan
1 Large-sized pan

Notes for the Cook!
Just one note - chopping up 4 onions is a very 'crying' experience! I've no magic recipe to stop the tears, but the result is well worth it. Apparently chewing gum whilst chopping the onions does make some difference but I'm not guaranteeing it!

Start by peeling the four onions and chopping it into small bits. This is the most laborious part of this recipe - it takes 10 minutes or so to chop up four onions and the tears will flow!

Put the onions into a frying pan, add the butter, margarine or olive oil and turn up to a medium heat. 

Turn the onions every minute or so to ensure they are evenly cooked. Aim to cook the onions until they are a medium brown colour.

Transfer the onions from the frying pan to a large pan and add all the ingredients except the cheese and bread. 

Cook the soup on a medium heat for about 30 minutes. The aim is to get the onions so they are soft but not falling apart.

While the soup is cooking, put the soup bowls in the oven to get them warm.

Cut up the French bread into slices and put them under the grill to very lightly toast them (a bit less toasted than shown in the picture!). When lightly toasted, spread some cheese over each slice of bread.

Just before the soup is ready to be served, put the cheese topped bread under the grill and cook until the cheese starts to bubble. 

The bread is then meant to be put on the top of the soup and served. However, we weren't too keen on this so in the picture below the bread is served on a separate plate.

This looks like a snack-sized meal but in fact it's quite filling. With enough toast and a crisp green side salad, it's a meal all on its own. Enjoy!

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