French Language Blog

A Meal for All Seasons: La Soupe à l’Oignon (Onion Soup) Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Bienvenue mes amis! (Welcome my friends!) Aujourd’hui nous allons apprendre à préparer un plat bien Français: la soupe à l’oignon (Today we will be learning how to prepare a typical French dish: onion soup).

Tradition has dictated that French onion soup be served avec du fromage râpé (with grated cheese) and croutons. Although onion soups date back du temps des Romains (to Roman times), the French take on onion soup dates back to le 18ème siècle (the 18th century). The soup is made from bouillon de bœuf (beef broth) to which you add des oignons caramélisés (caramelized onions) and du Gruyère râpé (grated Gruyère) topped with une tranche de pain grillé (a slice of toasted bread) called a “crouton.”

There are a number of variations of French onion soup but the core elements remain the same: broth, cheese and bread. Below is a simple and quick recette (recipe) that will introduce you to this typical French dish. Although it lacks meat, this soup is still hearty and is often served as an entrée (appetizer) before le plat principal (the main dish).


2 ½ large yellow onions cut into thin slices

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. flour

¼ tsp. sugar

3 ½ cups of beef broth

½ cup of grated Gruyère (can be substituted for another kind of Swiss cheese if Gruyère is difficult to find)

¼ cup of sherry, brandy, vermouth or white wine

Toasted French bread cut into slices


Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add onions, reduce heat and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove cover. Increase heat to medium, add sugar and let cook until onions are caramelized. Add flour and stir for one minute. Add broth and spirit/wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Top with bread and Gruyère.

Dégustez en famille ou avec des amis! Vive la cuisine Française et bon appétit! (Enjoy with family or friends! Long live French cuisine and enjoy your meal!)

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