If there’s one dish that been part of my life since I was young, it is undoubtedly French onion soup. My Mamy (French for grandmother) has been making me this soul-warming soup from day one. It’s a dish near to my heart. My go-to for a filling dinner, or when I want to slow down and read a book on the weekend — French onion soup knows how to fit all moods.

Surprisingly it’s a rather complicated recipe to execute even though there are only a few ingredients. I’ve seen many variations of the soup, many missing key parts. The onions are not cut properly, changing the consistency, or the broth is too thick or too thin. The trick? A tried and true family recipe hailing from the French countryside.

I spent the day with my Mamy, experimenting with proportions and taste. Often times she just “wings” the recipe, and cooks according to sight and taste — this time I marked exact portions.

Grandmother’s French Onion Soup Recipe

About this dish 

Rooted deep in the history of France, French onion soup has been a staple of at-home meals, brasseries, and cafes alike. The hearty soup compromised of simple ingredients is the perfected combination of both the savory and the sweet. Crisp country bread topped with melting cheese and you have yourself a soup that wins over any newcomer.


Notes from Grandmother

  • Never leave the kitchen! Always watch over the onions.
  • Cooking requires patience.
  • Be your own judge for the quantities and portions.
  • Be careful with the salt in the broth, as the cheese on top will be salty.


*Serves 4 people

  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced (not chopped)
  • 6 tbsp of butter
  • 1/8 cup of flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 box of beef broth
  • two cups of shredded Gruyere cheese
  • A baguette, well toasted and thickly sliced


  1. Sauté the onions in butter until golden brown.
  2. Turn the heat off, add in the flour on top of onions, stirring slowly to mix well.
  3. Turn heat back on medium, slowly adding the beef broth, mixing it in well with the flour and onions (be sure there are no lumps). Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Put your oven on broil as the soup boils.
  5. Grab oven-safe bowls, and place the well-toasted baguette slices at the bottom.
  6. Check broth, it should be mildly thick, but not too thin. Add flour if need be.
  7. Spoon in the broth on top of the baguette slices and the bread should float to the top. If not pull up with a spoon to the surface.
  8. Sprinkle shredded Gruyere cheese on top and place in oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and sizzling.
  9. Enjoy!


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