A twist on the classic French onion soup, topped with cubes of sweet challah bread croutons and fresh thyme and still full of incredibly caramelized sweet onions.
French Onion Soup with Croutons
There is nothing I love more than a really well made rich French onion soup. Topped with crusty bread and loads of Gruyere cheese broiled on top.
Yes, all of those elements are still in my “not so classic” version, but instead of one slice of bread, challah bread is cut into cubes, making for an easier spoonful.
Cut the challah into cubes and drizzle bread with olive oil. Place the challah on a parchment lined baking sheet and into a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 5-10 minute until just dried out but not too toasted.
Then set aside to top the French onion soup.
- Yellow Onions: Look for yellow or sweet onions which will make for a sweeter and more caramelized outcome.
- Beef Stock: The base of French onion soup. I like using a concentrated stock such as Better Than Bouillon.
- White Wine: A splash of white wine wakes up the richer flavors of the soup, such as Pinot Gris.
- Unsalted Butter and Olive Oil: Both give flavor and fat to saute the onions.
- Fresh Thyme: A few sprigs, leaves removed and roughly chopped. Save some for garnish too!
- Challah Bread: This is where the twist comes in. Use a regular challah or for even more flavor, try it with garlic rosemary challah. Instead of topping the soup with a single slice, cut into cubes so it’s easier to spoon.
- Gruyere Cheese: is a melty Alpine style of cheese that is traditional in French onion soup. Other options are a Swiss cheese, Jarlsberg or a combination of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
How to Make French Onion Soup
- In a large and wide dutch, melt butter and oil together and add all of your onions.
2. Cover the pot and cook onions on medium heat for 15-20 minutes until they begin to break down and caramelize. Then remove the lid and add the sugar and salt and continue cooking the onions, stirring them every few minutes until deep and caramelized.
4. Once onions are a deep brown color, add the flour and fresh thyme, making sure to cook the flour so there is no visible flour left.
5. Stir the white wine in continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes until the wine reduces. Pour in the beef stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer for an additional 20 minutes until the soup has thickened slightly.
6. Ladle soup into oven safe soup bowls and top with challah cubes and a good handful of shredded Gruyere. Place soup bowls on a baking sheet and bake in 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.
7. Garnish French onion soup with more fresh thyme and serve immediately.
French Onion Soup with Challah Croutons
- 3 tablespoons Olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter unsalted
- 4-5 yellow onions sliced thinly
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves removed and chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 8 cups beef stock low sodium preferred
- 1 challah bread cut into cubes
- Olive oil for drizzling
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere
- Fresh thyme leaves
- In a large and wide pot, melt butter and oil together and add all of your onions.
- Cover pot and cook onions on medium heat for 15-20 minutes until they begin to break down and caramelize.
- Then take the cover off and add sugar and salt. Stir in and continue to cook the onions, stirring them every few minutes until the onions continue to break down and caramelize.
- Once onions are a deep brown color, add flour and fresh thyme and stir it in. The onions will get thicker.
- Add the white wine and allow to cook until wine reduces, about 2-3 minutes and then add your beef stock and mix well. Allow to cook on a gentle simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and adjust seasoning as needed.
- When ready, ladle soup into oven safe soup pots and top with toasted bread and shredded cheese.
- Place soup bowls on a baking sheet and bake in 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- Add cubed challah to a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake croutons at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes until just toasted. The reserve to top soup.
This post was originally published in October, 2013 and updated September 2022 with added nutritional information.