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Easy French Onion Soup Recipe for One

This single-serving French onion soup recipe has a subtle sweetness from the onions and a depth of flavor from the broth and wine. The creamy soup’s croutons and melted cheese add a crunchy, salty contrast. This easy French onion soup recipe is both comforting and satisfying, with a complex and well-balanced flavor.

If you have some leftover onions give these oven baked onion rings a try and add in some paprika carrots and a few roasted tomatoes for a nice meal.

White bowl of french onion soup topped with croutons and shredded cheese.

Why Try This Recipe

Using just a few ingredients, yet rich in flavor, ‘s hard to resist. The sweetness of the onions, the depth of beef stock, and the tangy taste of red wine come together in perfect harmony to create a delicious soup that is perfect for any occasion.

You can customize it to your liking by using different kinds of onions or cheese. Try making it with red onions for a sweeter flavor, or use provolone cheese instead of mozzarella for a different kind of cheese.

This recipe is a great place to start if you’ve never made French onion soup. It may seem slow, but the result is a bowl of soup worth the effort.

✔ Main Ingredients Notes

Onion, beef broth, flour and seasonings measured out to make a french onion soup.

The recipe card at the bottom of this post contains the full ingredient list and instructions.

  • Onions: The best onions for making French onion soup are yellow onions. Using a sweet onion can make the soup overly sweet.
  • Seasoning: Adjust to your personal taste; however, you should use kosher salt; regular table salt can make the soup too salty. Use just a table salt pinch if you don’t have kosher salt.
  • White Wine: If you prefer to omit the wine, substitute it with water.
  • Garlic Paste: Chunky garlic paste is easy to use; you can substitute finely minced fresh garlic.

✎ How to Make Classic French Onion Soup

Mound of microwaved sliced onions on white plate.

Step One: Microwave the sliced onions for 5-6 minutes to soften.

Onions caramelizing in a stainless steel saucepan.

Step Two: In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until the onions are soft and caramelized,

Onion and wine cooking in a stainless steel saucepan.

Step Three: Pour in the white wine and continue cooking until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes.

Onions caramelizing in a stainless steel saucepan.

Step Four: Stir in the flour and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, occasionally stirring to avoid burning. Add more liquid if needed.

Onions and broth cooking in a stainless steel saucepan.

Step Five: Stir in the beef broth and bring the soup back to a simmer; cook for 10 minutes.

slices of toasted baguette on a small baking sheet.

Step Six: While the soup cooks, toast a thick slice of French bread and cut it into bite-sized pieces.

French onion soup topped with croutons in a round white bowl.

Add the toasted bread to the soup and sprinkle with the Gruyere cheese on top. If you want gooey cheese, then use sliced cheese and place it under the broiler to melt.

Skip the croutons and serve with these easy homemade Ciabatta rolls!

Sydney’s Recipe Notes

  • The key to great French onion soup is caramelizing the onions. This can take time, but it’s worth it for the deep, rich flavor. The caramelization process of the onions, the addition of red wine, and the use of good-quality beef stock all contribute to this soup’s richness and depth of flavor.
  • Using the microwave to give the onions a head start makes this a much quicker French onion soup recipe.
  • French Onion Soup is traditionally made with beef broth, but chicken broth can also be used.
  • You can also add herbs like thyme and bay leaves to enhance the flavor.
  • Gruyere cheese is traditionally used for French Onion Soup, but Swiss cheese or another type can be substituted.

Best Cheese for French Onion Soup

French onion soup is typically made with Gruyere cheese and/or Comte cheese, both of which are traditional French cheeses. These cheeses have a nutty, savory flavor and can withstand the heat of the soup without completely melting.

Other good cheese options for French onion soup include:

  • Swiss: Like Gruyere, Swiss cheese has a nutty flavor and melts well.
  • Parmesan: Adds a nutty, salty flavor and a bit of texture to the soup.
  • Provolone: Has a mild, creamy flavor and melts well.
  • Fontina Has a buttery, nutty flavor and melts well.

Serving Suggestions

  • Served in an oven-safe bowl or crock, with a slice of toasted bread on top and grated cheese melted over the bread.
  • Add fresh herbs like a sprig of thyme.
  • You can add toppings like croutons or bacon bits can be added before broiling.
  • It’s traditionally served as a starter or first course, but it can also be a hearty main course if served with a salad or sandwich on the side.

Helpful Tools For This Recipe

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How to Store Leftovers

To store leftover French onion soup, let it cool to room temperature and then transfer it to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
It’s important to note that the cheese and bread will lose their texture when reheated, so it’s best to store them separately.
To reheat the French onion soup, transfer it to a saucepan, reheat over medium heat, or transfer it to a microwave-safe container and heat or in the microwave. Before serving, add the cheese and toast the bread separately and place them on top of the soup.
You can also freeze French onion soup for up to 3 months. Let it cool completely to do this, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Be sure to leave some headroom since liquids will expand as they freeze.
When you’re ready to reheat the frozen soup, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and follow the instructions above

?Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make the soup ahead of time?

It’s fine to make the soup a day or two in advance. Also, caramelizing the onions can take a while. You can do this step ahead of time and store the caramelized onions in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the soup.

How can I thicken the soup if it’s too thin?

This recipe should not be too thin because it already uses flour as a thickener; however, if it’s still too thin, mix a small amount of cornstarch or flour with cold water to make a slurry, and then slowly pour it into the soup while stirring. This will thicken the soup as it heats up.

Can I make this soup vegetarian?

Yes, substitute oil for butter when caramelizing the onions, and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. The flavor will not be rich, but it will still be very good.

What type of beef broth or stock is best?

A high-quality, low-sodium broth or stock is best, so you can control the salt level in the soup. You can also make your own beef broth or stock at home, giving you more control over the ingredients and the level of flavor.

More Ways to Prepare Onions

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French onion soup topped with croutons in a round white bowl.

Single Serving French Onion Soup

This single serving French onion soup has a subtle sweetness from the onions and a depth of flavor from the broth and wine. The croutons and melted cheese add a crunchy, salty contrast to the creamy soup. This yummy soup is comforting and satisfying with a complex and well-balanced flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 1 bowl
Calories: 677kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 1 medium yellow onion sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon ground coarse black pepper
  • ounces dry white wine wine
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 3 slices French baguette lightly toasted and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 2 tablespoons Gruyere cheese shredded

Instructions

  • Microwave the sliced onions for 5-6 minutes to soften.
  • In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until the onions are soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Pour in the white wine and continue cooking until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, occasionally stirring to avoid burning. Add more liquid if needed.
  • Stir in the beef broth and bring the soup back to a simmer,cook for 10 minutes.
  • While the soup cooks, toast a thick slice of French bread and cut into bite sized pieces. Add the toasted bread on top of the soup and sprinkle with the Gruyere cheese on top.

Notes

  • The key to great French onion soup is caramelizing the onions. This can take time, but it’s worth it for the deep, rich flavor.
  • French Onion Soup is traditionally made with beef broth, but chicken broth can also be used.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 677kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 1830mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g
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