New This Month

French Onion Soup


Cooking the onions for a very long time over low heat mellows their flavor and makes a truly delicious soup.

  • Servings: 6
french onion soup

Photography: Beatriz DaCosta

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 1999


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, sliced 1/4-inch into half circles
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 3 cups Homemade Beef Stock for French Onion Soup
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small French baguette, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 3 cups)


  1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot on medium-low heat. Add onions. Spread them out in as thin a layer as possible. Sprinkle with sugar, and cook, stirring just as needed to keep onions from sticking, until they are melting and soft, golden brown, and beginning to caramelize, about 1 hour.

  2. Sprinkle flour over onions, and stir to coat. Add sherry, stock, and thyme, and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Meanwhile, lightly toast bread under a broiler; set aside. Ladle hot soup into six ovenproof bowls. Arrange the bowls on a baking pan. Place 1 or 2 slices of toasted bread over each bowl of soup. Sprinkle 1/2 cup grated cheese over bread in each bowl, and place under the broiler until cheese is melted and crusty brown around the edges. Watch carefully that bread doesn't burn. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Don't stir the onions too often or they won't caramelize.

Reviews Add a comment

    20 MAR, 2015
    Fabulous recipe. Tastes exactly like the French onion soup at Au Pied de Cochon in Paris.
  • Warren Haynes
    9 FEB, 2015
    Thank You Martha !! This is a great soup. I've made it a few times making small changes such as less sherry, adding Port instead of sherry but the original is great. Also, thanks for the tip on dutch ovens, it's my go to pan. Love the cast iron with the porcelain coating !!! You are a great cook !!!!!
  • Ashley Adams
    14 JAN, 2015
    I made this for dinner, the only change I made was using Vermouth instead of the sherry. It came out wonderful! I didn't have to buy a baguette as I had some day old bread I had made that was perfect to use in this recipe.
  • maureen1900
    15 OCT, 2014
    Not good; sweet to the extreme. Throwing out the broth and onions; husband and I cannot eat this. Caramelized onions have their own natural sweetness - I should have listened to my first instincts when I read this recipe and left out the teaspoon of sugar and the sherry. Also, will double the cheese on top. I am using dedicated French Onion bowls which look quite a bit larger than the ones shown in the picture - maybe that is why there was only a thin spattering of cheese on top.
  • 5JL
    31 AUG, 2014
    I make this with a few modifications: - more butter (about 1.5 sticks) -instead of sherry use a zin or cab - stock can be vegetable or turkey/ chicken - add reduced balsamic vinegar instead of sugar (about .25 cup) -1/2 tsp minced garlic Love. Definitely think gruyere cheese is the way to go. It's a distinct difference.
  • 0SENNA0
    25 FEB, 2014
    I added extra tea.s sugar and that really ruined the taste. But after fixing it it tasted really really great. I added half a cup flour and that really helped with the color and flavor. didn't use dried cherries. I will absolutely make it again with more flour, less sugar and no cherries. I might try to make it more creamy to match my family taste maybe adding milk and cream will do it.
  • cokiethebaby
    27 JAN, 2014
    I saw her make this on the show and thought I would make it, but as a severely altered version cause I didn't have most ingredients, I didnt use wine or cooking sherry, i made my own so called broth using the water, 4 restaurant packets of soy sauce, 1 pack of chicken bullion from oodles of noodles and a splash of vinegar, I only had bay leaves and dries basil.... and used mozerella cheese also. It tasted great & is a yummy comfort food! I may skip the sugar on the onions next time though.
  • luvinit
    20 SEP, 2013
    This soup is near perfect. I cut down a little on the sherry (used xtra dry), and instead of thyme, added a cheesecloth satchel of herbs de provence for seasoning and a bay leaf (if I had fresh thyme I'd have used that). A nice rustic baguette with a firm crust works best. Gruyere melts great but if you're on a budget a good quality swiss will work almost as well. Delish!
  • Mrs gosse2
    16 JAN, 2013
    Made it. It was really good. I used a mixture of mozz, white cheddar and swiss as my family is not big on swiss. I used a bagguette for the bread. My onions were pretty sweet so I would have like it to be a little more savory.
  • annie_cz
    21 JAN, 2012
    This one tops all of the other French onion soups have made in the past.