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French onion soup in a white bowl with gooey cheese and croutons

Parisian French Onion Soup

This French onion soup recipe comes directly from Paris! It's a recreation of the cafe classic at Au Père Louis, a beloved Parisian bistro in Le Quartier Latin, or Latin Quarter.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine French
Servings 4 servings
Calories 609 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds yellow onions peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick half-moons
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more as needed
  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons port or Madeira wine (adjust to your sweetness preference)
  • 6 cups beef broth or stock preferably homemade, heated
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups (6 ounces) cubed crusty baguette (3/4-to-1-inch cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or olive oil spray
  • 8 to 12 ounces Gruyère cheese grated


  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and salt and toss to coat evenly with the oil. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, sweating the onions until they are softened, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and continue to cook uncovered, stirring occasionally another 15 to 20 minutes until most of the residual moisture has evaporated, but don’t cook long enough to caramelize. Add the garlic and bay leaves and cook for another 3 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the flour and then the port wine. Add the hot beef broth and stir to combine. Season with more salt and pepper. Partially cover with a lid and simmer on low for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, skimming impurities, and adjusting seasoning as needed (don’t be stingy on the pepper!).
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven or toaster oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the bread cubes with the olive oil or spray them with olive oil spray, and toast in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden and crusty. Set aside.
  • Turn on the broiler. Divide the soup into 4 oven-proof bowls, top with the croutons (about 1 cup per serving), and then finish with 2 to 3 ounces of grated Gruyère per serving. Broil until cheese is melted, bubbly, and golden.

Notes & Nutrition

  • I have made this soup with homemade stock (recipe follows) and with beef broth concentrate. I obviously felt better about making the soup with my homemade stock, however the soup was still excellent and flavorful with the beef broth concentrate. In a pinch I think it would be fine, but for a truly authentic experience aim to make your own stock. I’ve also tried it with equal parts beef broth and chicken broth, and it was still hearty and delicious.
  • You can omit the flour entirely if you prefer a thinner broth, or increase to 2 tablespoons if you’d like a thicker broth.
  • For the port or Madeira wine, I have made this recipe with both 2 and 4 tablespoons, and prefer the lesser amount, but both are delicious!
  • Inspired by my visit to Au Père Louis in Paris
Servings 4.0 * calories 609 * Total Fat 29 g * Saturated Fat 11 g * Monounsaturated Fat 4 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 5 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 62 mg * Sodium 1974 mg * Potassium 66 mg * Total Carbohydrate 53 g * Dietary Fiber 6 g * Sugars 22 g * Protein 23 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*