Mum's French onion soup with cheesy baguette toasts

Nici Wickes shares the recipe for her family's favourite soup - her mum's French onion soup. With its melting cheesy topping and rich, sweet onions, this soup is easy and economical to make at home

By Nici Wickes
  • 55 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
This recipe first appeared in New Zealand Woman's Weekly.
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  • 25 gram butter
  • 4 large brown onions, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 cup good beef stock (easy to make your own, see recipe tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1/2 French baguette
  • 2 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 cup grated gruyère cheese
  • small handful of parsley, chopped


  • 1
    In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onions, then cook gently for at least 20 minutes until they are soft and slightly coloured.
  • 2
    Add the sugar and flour, then continue cooking gently for another 2-3 minutes. Add the stock and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  • 3
    Add the salt and pepper.
  • 4
    Cut the baguette into 3-4cm thick slices. Combine the butter and mustard, then butter the slices on one side. Lay bread on a tray, sprinkle over the cheese, then grill until cheese bubbles and melts.
  • 5
    Serve bowls of soup topped with a slice of cheesy bread and chopped parsley. Enjoy!


You can also place the bread on top of the soup, cover with grated cheese, then grill, but I think it makes the bread too soggy. This soup, like many, is even nicer the day after. To make beef stock, place a piece of shin meat in a saucepan with 1-2 litres water. Add chopped onion, celery, carrot and a few black peppercorns. Simmer for 3-4 hours, then strain. It freezes well.

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