Gluten Free French Onion Soup

One of my all time favorite soups is French Onion soup. I remember the last time I had it before going gluten-free years ago. Since then I have longed to enjoy this delicious soup again, but I have never found it on a gluten-free menu. This summer, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make it myself. It is a fairly easy soup to make, but it is very time consuming. I decided to make it again recently and I loved how this recipe turned out. Thankfully, I wrote everything down while I was cooking in hopes of sharing it all with you here. Please note this site and this post include affiliate links.

I made this soup using my 8.5qt stainless steel Calphalon Dutch oven. I don’t think my exact one is available anymore, but found two similar pots (click here and here). If you don’t have this exact style pot, you will just want to use a well-made, large, heavy pot that heats evenly; I believe this helps with the caramelization. The Le Creuset Dutch oven or something similar would also work well. To serve this soup, I ordered soup crocks and soup spoons to make sure we got the “real” French onion soup feel. When we traveled to Ireland a few years ago, I had the most delicious soups throughout our trip and they were always served with the best soup spoons. Having these spoons at home now reminds me of our time in Ireland.

I hope you try and enjoy this recipe!

The Ingredients:

Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 2 hours Servings: About 8

  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) of unsalted butter
  • 6lbs of yellow onions, sliced into half moons
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.5 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 large cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1.5 c red wine (I used a red blend)
  • 32oz low sodium beef stock
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 4-8oz Gruyere cheese thinly sliced or grated
  • 1 Gluten Free Baguette 

The Directions:

  • Slice the onions into half-moon shape and set aside in a large bowl.
  • Melt butter over medium/low heat then add the onions and stir to coat the onions into the melted butter.
  • Over medium/low heat, regularly stir the onions and bay leaf. You will need to keep an eye on the pot to make sure the onions do not stick. For this amount of onions, the caramelization process can take up to 1.5 hrs
  • Once the onions start to darken (about 30 minutes) add the dark brown sugar which will help with caramelizing the onions.
  • When the onions are close to fully caramelized (about 1.25 hrs), add black pepper, thyme and fresh garlic then stir.
  • When the onions have a dark, rich color and are fully caramelized add red wine to deglaze. Let the alcohol cook out and reduce the liquid for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the beef stock and 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar which will help to balance out the sweetness of the onions and sugar. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.
  • While you soup simmers, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Taste your soup. If it’s still too sweet, gradually add another tbsp of vinegar and season with salt to taste.
  • Slice your baguette (or brea of your choice), drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven.
  • Spoon your soup into the crocks, add toasted bread and top with gruyere cheese.
  • Place the crocks on a baking sheet and broil on high about about 5 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and slightly charred.
  • Top with a sprinkle of dried (or fresh) thyme and serve.

Cooking Notes:

  • This soup is heavier on the onions than it is on the stock. If you prefer you soup to have more broth, you can add some while cooking, but you may have to adjust the seasonings to maintain the flavor.
  • When I reheated this soup, I added a little extra stock each time.

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