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French onion soup in soup bowl with bread and cheese.

Bistro French Onion Soup

  • Author: Tara Smithson
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 bowls 1x


This Bistro French Onion Soup my copycat version of my favorite Panera French Onion Soup. It is filled with rich flavor and is topped with french bread smothered in bubbly cheese. It is heaven in a bowl!


  • 3 large yellow, sweet onions (peeled, halved, and sliced into 1/4 inch slices)
  • 3 large red onions (peeled, halved, and sliced into 1/4 inch slices)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 containers (32 ounce each) beef stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 loaf of french bread cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 4 to 6 ounces gruyere cheese (sliced thinly)


  1. Begin by peeling and slicing the onions into about 1/4 inch slices. Mince the garlic and set aside.
  2. Into a dutch oven on medium low heat, add in the butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil and allow it to heat up.
  3. Add in the onions. Cover for 15 minutes, stirring half way through. Uncover, and increase heat to medium. Add in salt, pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and stir well. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium high, for 5 minutes and stir frequently. Add in flour, thyme, bay leaf, and garlic. Stir and add in wine. Stir. 
  4. Add in the beef stock. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Slice up the french bread into thin slices and toast in the oven at 350 for 8 minutes. Once the soup has cooked, ladle into an oven safe bowl and top with two slices of bread, and cover with a few gruyere cheese slices. 
  6. Turn the oven to broil and place the bowls onto a cookie sheet. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes on high. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Be careful not to burn yourself. These get really hot! Enjoy!! 


  • Take your time on the caramelized onions. They need to cook over time to get the perfect texture!
  • Don't wear your best clothing when cooking this soup. I have a very sensitive nose, but I smelled a bit like armpit after chopping and cooking this many onions. 
  • It keeps well for 5 days in the fridge when sealed in a container and is the perfect easy lunch idea to re-heat. Just re-heat on the stove top or in the microwave. 
  • If you have a lot leftover, freeze it in individual serving sizes or all together for an easy dinner idea. If frozen correctly, it will stay good for 3-4 months. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 80 minutes
  • Category: soup
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: french

Keywords: panera french onion soup, bistro french onion soup