French Onion Soup and 5 More Cheesy Recipes

by heidi on December 4, 2012

French Onion Soup from

After a full day hanging about in airports—due to my own volition and giving up my seat on two flights for others who had major connections to make overseas—oh, and the travel vouchers they dangled in front of my nose—I’m home.

Before I left for Mixed Conference I had the best of intentions to get this recipe up and out the door—aka in the blog queue—before I left for the event. It just didn’t happen. And so here we are.

Meeting and spending time with my fellow speakers was a highlight of the trip.

The absolutely charming Bree of Baked Bree showed her graceful and unguarded style in such friendly conversation it felt we’d known each other since high school; Self-deprecating videographer Lenny’s one-liners were the perfect pairing to the calm and collected sensibility of his partner Denise, the photographer and voice of Chez Us, both of whom I felt an instant connection; Always gracious and incredibly talented Marian of Sweetopia made it her mission to make sure each and every person down to the breakfast server feel special and welcome while quick witted stylist extraordinaire Tammy of Running With Tweezers readily shared her fountain of reality based knowledge and deftly saved the day as the keeper of the wine key.

If you aren’t following their blogs, do it. You can thank me later.

French Onion Soup from

Beyond that, it was the enthusiasm that emanated from the youthful group of bloggers that drew me in. This wasn’t a conference where groups become silos, loping off to seclude themselves from the others. This was a very intimate, very involved group who were there to learn not really from us, the speakers, but fron one another. And it was infectious.

A big thank you to Paula and Susan for working their tails off and creating a conference that I’m sure will be the first of many.

French Onion Soup from

I was probably 11 or 12 the first time I had French Onion soup. Whenever my mom would take me to Salt Lake City to shop, we’d go to Trolley Square and always have lunch at The Pub, now known as Desert Edge Brewery. I thought I was so grown up since half of the restaurant was open to kids, the other half adults only. I was soooo walking the thin line of tweendom and adulthood, and it felt soooo good.

The only other version that has ever compared was a French Onion that was the most amazingly rich  veal stock in all the right ways, simmered for hours to create its amazing depth. It was served at a little, tiny spot right off of the Venice boardwalk called 5 Dudley. I still remember peeling the cheese off of the side of the little white tureen and diving for any remnants of onion bits to be had.

I’ve been making this soup a lot of late. It’s so easy to pull together yet so fulfilling it’s an obvious no-brainer when I’m delivering it for a friend or simply stumped about what’s going on the table that night. Especially when I’m not in the mood, nor have much time to get in the kitchen and as Bree says, “Get in it’s business.”

For me there are three keys to the success of this soup. 1. A onion combo of sweet vidalia, yellow onion and leeks that have been sautéed to become a jammy concoction. 2. Fresh thyme. 3. Nutty gruyere on hearty bread.

Besides serving the soup with floating slices of bread, I like to create bite size croutons for maximum popability. If there end up being any left once I’m done sampling. Quality control right?

Easy French Onion Soup with Cheesy Croutons

Serving Size: serves 6

Easy French Onion Soup with Cheesy Croutons


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 pounds sweet Vidalia onions, sliced
1 pound yellow onions sliced
2 leeks, cleaned and white parts only, sliced
32 ounces beef stock
32 ounces chicken stock
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme leaves
⅓ cup red wine
kosher salt
½ baguette, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup grated gruyere or farm cheese
thyme leaves for garnish


  1. In a large stock pot or dutch oven, melt butter and canola oil together over medium-high heat and add onions. Season with kosher salt and stir to coat onions with butter and oil. Cook stirring frequently for 30 minutes or until onions are soft, golden brown and syrupy and the bottom of the pan has browned bits.
  2. Add the beef and chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme sprigs, red wine and season with salt. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, scraping browned bits from bottom of pot. Discard herbs.
  3. Group baguette chunks closely on a baking sheet lined with foil. Top with grated cheese and broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  4. Ladle soup in a bowl, top with cheese croutons and ladle a bit more juice on top. Garnish with thyme leaves and serve.

Not all soups translate to other recipes that don’t call for saltines, but this list is sure to please anyone looking for an appetizer to a main onion treat to eat.

Adam and Cheryl use a French cooking technique to get the ultimate juicy burger with slow cooked onions in Picture Perfect Meals French Bistro Burger with Caramelized Onions and Bacon

Holidays become holidaze if you don’t have a few appetizers up your sleeve to make everyone happy like Kristin’s French Onion Soup Potstickers from Iowa Girl Eats

Not many can put a spin on a recipe like Ree, just like she does here with Pioneer Woman’s French Onion Soup Stuffed Mushrooms

Oh yes, Steph takes it there to create I Am a Food Blog’s mini cup version of French Onion Mac and Cheese Muffins 

Who says vegans can’t still eat gooey dishes? Coconut milk and tapioca flour contribute to Erin’s fusion of Olives for Dinner’s Vegan French Onion Soup Sandwich 

Make sure to subscribe to FoodieCrush for sneak peeks and the first reveal of the Holiday issue. Follow me on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Instagram too.


Posted in: entrees,recipes,soups and stews,vegetables and fruits

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Cory Lyn December 4, 2012 at 3:18 am

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait to make the soup, the wonton, and the Mac & Cheese muffins… thank you thank you thank you for such awesome recipes!!!


Blog is the New black December 4, 2012 at 4:31 am

One of our favorites! Love all of these recipes.


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar December 4, 2012 at 5:47 am

French onion is such a wicked good flavour. Your soup looks fabulous!


Abby@ The Frosted Vegan December 4, 2012 at 6:17 am

That vegan sandwich is calling my name!


Bev @ Bev Cooks December 4, 2012 at 7:06 am

I love seeing you in the spoon! I don’t know how you can hold the camera up so high without shaking it and having a blurry picture. You’re so cool.

AND I want this soup.


heidi December 4, 2012 at 10:04 am

I almost took myself out of the reflection in the spoon but thought it gives a “Where’s Waldo?” aspect to the post. I have long arms, and there are lots of blurry ones in the bunch!


Lauren Grier @ (Climbing Grier Mountain) December 4, 2012 at 8:31 am

Gorgeous photos, Heidi! I’m always looking for new french onion soup combinations. Thanks for sharing and speaking at Mixed!


Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking December 4, 2012 at 8:37 am

I was following your travel saga on twitter and instagram, glad you finally made it home. I love this soup, so comforting!


Deborah December 4, 2012 at 8:37 am

I have totally been craving a big bowl of French onion soup lately and this is totally calling my name!! Wish I could have seen you speak at Mixed!


Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom December 4, 2012 at 8:44 am

OMG, everything looks AMAZING!!!! Another great post!!! How do you find all these great blogs?


heidi December 4, 2012 at 10:02 am

It’s my wicked, wicked ways :)


Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa December 4, 2012 at 9:07 am

Oh I am so making this for dinner tonight. With a toasted piece of gluten-free french bread and creamy goat cheddar. Sounds divine. Thanks for sharing!!!


heidi December 4, 2012 at 10:02 am

Terrific idea on how to make it gluten-free. There are so many great products out now it makes it a lot easier to eat a wider variety!


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious December 4, 2012 at 9:44 am

So glad you made it home safely! You are too sweet to give up your seat.

And this soup – AMAZING! I don’t get to have french soup onion (I actually don’t think I’ve ever made it from scratch) so this here is definitely a must try. And seriously, how can I resist those croutons?


Brian @ A Thought For Food December 4, 2012 at 9:52 am

Looks awesome! I absolutely love French Onion Soup, but I so rarely have it because it’s always made with meat stock :-/


heidi December 4, 2012 at 10:01 am

You can always make it with a great vegetable stock, not a broth, and some great flavor. The original recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and that could add some flavor for the veg version.


Cookin' Canuck December 4, 2012 at 9:53 am

It sounds as though the conference was a big success, and full of great connections.

I know your fond memories of Desert Edge. I simply don’t go there often enough! Your French onion shots make me want to drive right down there (or, you know, just stop by your house) for a big bowl of soup.


heidi December 4, 2012 at 10:00 am

We should have a reunion lunch at the Pub, and savor the memories. Let’s do it!


carrian December 4, 2012 at 10:04 am

ooooooo, I’m so going to try this. Pinning it so I wont forget. I’ve never had french onion (I know, I’m crazy), but I’m dying to try it.


Jen @ Savory Simple December 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Heidi, your styling is fantastic. This is one of my favorite soups! So wonderful to mee you this weekend!


Cassie | Bake Your Day December 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I love everything about this, Heidi. We have been eating French onion soup a lot…love that you combined beef and chicken stock. The flavors sound so perfect! And the photos – stunning as usual (especially with your reflection in the spoon!)


Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I love French onion soup! Add cheesy croutons and I’m in absolute heaven!


Emily December 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I love French onion soup but have never braved making it at home.


Julie @ Table for Two December 4, 2012 at 7:11 pm

This looks absolutely delicious and a very comforting soup to have in the winter. I was THRILLED to meet you this weekend, Heidi. I love your enthusiasm and your knowledge. I hope to cross paths again soon :) you’re so fun!


heidi December 6, 2012 at 12:08 am

Julie it was awesome to meet you too. You seriously inspire me with your enthusiasm and drive. I can’t wait to see where it takes you. And so glad I have a fellow photo bomber to prey among unsuspecting victims. :)


Kristen December 5, 2012 at 3:42 am

You described the personalities of your fellow speakers so perfectly. What a great group!
I’ve never made French Onion Soup but it’s one of my favorites, for sure. Yours looks amazing!


heidi December 6, 2012 at 12:11 am

What? Youve never made French Onion soup? If only you were closer I’d take care of that for you.


brandi December 5, 2012 at 7:44 am

I love the shot with you in the spoon – how fun!

It was great to finally meet you in person and have some one on one time this weekend. You’re just as fabulous as I thought you would be :) Hope you’ll be back in VA soon!


heidi December 6, 2012 at 12:10 am

Brandi,I’m sure we’ll meet up again before either of us can imagine. So happy to have met you and your husband too.


Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen December 6, 2012 at 11:38 am

It’s been YEARS since I had French onion soup! I miss it!


Katie | The Hill Country Cook December 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Oh. Muh. Gawd Heidi! I LOVE French Onion Soup. And just as Tammy had suggested, you photographed your soup in shallow bowls! Looks gorgeous, and I think my stomach is grumbling. This one will be on the to-do list!
And, LOVING the magazine!! I wasn’t sure if I’d like the online version, but I do!


Denise December 8, 2012 at 8:54 am

French onion soup … one of our favorite meals. I clearly do not make it often enough as it is not even on the site. Love caramelized onions and gooey cheese.

Thank you for the very sweet mention in your post. We had a wonderful time meeting you and hanging out. Looking forward to more great time, in SF and Utah!!


Aggie December 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

Gosh, I love all things french onion. It’s my husband’s favorite soup. Amazing recipe, amazing post…yum


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