Make this Bistro French Onion Soup without using wine. It’s perfect when hosting guests, or for a simple French meal. Top the soup with crostinis and cheese for the authentic touch. Also check out this Vegetarian French Onion soup if you’re looking for a way to cut out meat products.
Ingredients for Bistro French Onion Soup
- Onions: Sweet onions will work best for this recipe since there is quite a bit of natural sugar in sweet onions. If you don’t have sweet onions, you can use your favorite onion or the onions you have on hand for this soup.
- Beef Broth: Traditionally, French Onion Soup is made with beef broth. Make a beef bone broth to add to your soup or use a low-sodium beef broth.
- Gruyere Cheese: Grate the cheese for this soup or make slices to place on top of the soup. Gruyere is the classic cheese for this soup, but you can replace Gruyere with Swiss or Parmesan.
- Baguette: Use a French baguette as the crouton for this soup. Toast stale or fresh bread to make crostinis out of the baguette before placing it into the soup.
How to Make Bistro French Onion Soup without Wine
This Bistro French Onion Soup recipe only uses a few key ingredients – onions, broth, oil and spices.
Start by slicing the onions until you have about 10 cups of sliced onions. Place the sliced onion in a large dutch oven or a large stock pot and add in the olive oil. Toss the onions to coat and sweat the onions over medium-low heat.
After the onions have slightly softened, bring the heat up to medium and continue cooking the onions. Give them a good toss and then let the onions continue caramelizing. The onions will take about an hour to fully caramelize. The onions will caramelize best by leaving them undisturbed, but give them a good stir roughly every 20 minutes to prevent burning.
Once the onions have caramelized, add in the butter and minced garlic. Stir well and let the new ingredients meld together for about 3 minutes, or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Then, add in the beef broth and thyme sprigs and allow the entire pot to come to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes and taste the soup. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
While the soup is simmering, prepare the bread and cheese topping. Set the oven to broil.
Cut the slices of baguette into 1″ slices and toast, either in the oven or in a toaster. Once the bread is toasted, add the French Onion Soup to a high heat resistant bowl. Then place the baguettes in the bowl and top with slices, pieces or slivers of the Gruyere cheese.
Add the bowl to the oven and broil for 10 – 15 minutes. When the soup to be bubbling around the edges and the cheese is slightly browned on top, the soup is ready to serve.
How to Make French Onion Soup with Wine
Generally, this soup is made with wine to accent the flavor of the onions and broth.
If you want to use wine with this recipe, simply add a dry white wine to the onions to deglaze the pan once they are finished caramelizing. Scrape up the fond from the bottom of the pan. Fond is the browned bits of food that attaches to the bottom of the pan while cooking.
The fond is packed with flavor and will need a liquid of some kind to loosen it from the pan. Generally in French cooking, wine is used but you can replace the wine with another liquid, such as the beef broth.
How Many Onions Will I Need?
You’ll need a plethora of onions. You can use between 5 and 10 onions for this recipe, but I generally use about 8 to come up with about 10 cups of sliced onions.
It’s okay if you don’t have 10 full cups of sliced onions. Or if you enjoy the flavor of the onion soup with less onions, feel free to reduce the amount of onions used. Another option is to simply reduce the recipe by half.
Which Onions are Best for French Onion Soup?
The main ingredient in Bistro French Onion Soup is, you guessed it, onions!
Truthfully, you can use any type of onion that you have on hand for French Onion Soup. I’ve made this sop with red onions, sweet onions, white onions, yellow onions and a combination of different onion types.
If you have extra onions that you have wondering how to use up, throw them all into a large dutch oven and cook them down.