Food & Drink

Classic French Onion Soup Recipe | What’s Cooking


Alors! Leave it to those clever French to find a way to throw a bunch of nothing-special onions in a pot, add some stock, stale bread and a bit of cheese and have the results magically turn out full of rich, refined flavor that you never want to stop putting in your mouth. French onion soup has an air of sophistication that makes it seem impossibly hard to make. But really this is an easy, old peasant’s dish (the most delicious ones often are), and if you’ve got the patience to stir a pot of thinly sliced onions for about 30 minutes, then you’ve got all the sophistication it takes to create this classic soup.

If you want to serve this recipe as a first course at a party, complete step one a day ahead, then just reheat it on the stove before moving on to step two. For best results, take your time with the onions over medium heat; much like the French, they don’t like to be rushed. And slice them pole to pole, as opposed to across the equator—you’ll get a less stringy finished product.


Nordstrom Bistro French Onion Soup
From our Friends and Family Cookbook and Nordstrom Restaurants
(Serves 6)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 leek, white and light green part only, thinly sliced
8 cups canned low-sodium beef broth
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
12 baguette slices, each 1/2 inch thick, toasted
4 cups (1 pound) shredded Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon snipped fresh chives


Wüsthof knives | Le Creuset cookware


1. In a 6- to 8-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, until tan, about 1 minute. Add the onions and leek and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft and lightly caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add the Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes longer.

2. While the soup is simmering, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425°F.

french-baguette-for-french-onion-soup french-baguette-for-french-onion-soup2


3. Ladle the soup into individual ovenproof crocks. Place 2 baguette slices on top of the soup in each crock. Mound the cheese evenly among the crocks, covering the bread slices completely. Place the crocks on a sturdy, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the cheese is lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.


Easy, classic french onion soup recipe from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

4. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the crocks to cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish each serving with the chives.

Try this recipe and others at a Nordstrom restaurant near you, and find more recipes to make at home in our What’s Cooking series and Nordstrom Cookbooks (available in selected Nordstrom restaurants and Ebars).

Have a favorite dish or beverage from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!

—Jeff Powell