Soup, glorious soup. It’s such an easy way to start a multi-course meal or, paired with a side salad and sprouted bread, a simple lunch or dinner. And there’s no better — or easier — soup than this onion soup recipe. You’ve likely had French onion when out, or maybe even from a can, but no more. With this easy onion soup recipe, you can enjoy homemade, healthy onion soup whenever the mood strikes.
The Problem with Canned Soup
If you normally get your soups from a can, it’s time to make the switch and prepare your own soups instead. Not only will you end up saving a bundle in the long haul, but it’s way better for your health. That’s because canned soups are full of hidden nasties.
You may have heard of BPA, a compound found in receipt paper and plastic — and the lining of most cans. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stay there; BPA is known to seep out of the lining and has been detected in the urine of 93 percent of Americans. Unfortunately, one of the highest sources of BPA is canned soups. The chemical is an endocrine disruptor and contributes to infertility issues, vitamin D deficiency and obesity.
Canned soups are also full of sodium. While salt has a place in a healthy diet, most of us are getting nearly 75 percent of our sodium from processed and packaged foods — and well over the recommended amount. In fact, our excessive sodium intake is one of the reasons America is fat, sick and tired.
A diet high in sodium also raises the risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Even canned soups that claim to be low in sodium usually contain more sodium than necessary, particularly since it’s rare for someone to eat just one serving of a canned soup.
Canned soups often have MSG as well, one of the worst ingredients you can eat. Monosodium glutamate is a food additive that can afflict you with nausea, heart palpitations and vomiting. Prolong exposure of MSG overexcites body cells, leaving them so heavily damaged that they eventually die. This definitely calls for making your own onion or French onion soup.
Onion Health Benefits
Like all of my other soup recipes, this homemade onion soup recipe has none of those undesirable ingredients. Onions are surprisingly powerful little vegetables. Onion nutrition is packed with antioxidants that can lower inflammation and may even help fight cancer. Research studies have shown an inverse relationship between the frequent consumption of onion and garlic and the risk of several common cancers, including esophageal, colorectal and breast. (1)
And if you’re suffering from diabetes, animal research demonstrates that getting your daily onion fix may help control blood sugar levels in the body and prevent insulin resistance. (2) Not too shabby.
History of Onion Soup
You may be surprised to find out that this delicious soup has a really lengthy history. Experts seem to agree that onion soup has been made and eaten since ancient Roman times! But wait, why is onion soup considered such a French classic today? That’s because the modern day version of onion soup, often called French onion soup, was introduced in 18th century Paris, France. (3)
To this day, it’s easy to find onion soup on restaurant menus in Paris and other parts of France as well as around the entire world. It will likely be served in ramekins with gratinee (melted and slightly browned cheese on top) with baguette slices on the side.
So, how good for you is this onion soup? Check out the nutrition facts for one serving: (4)
- 223 calories
- 16.75 grams protein
- 11.57 grams fat
- 9.27 grams carbohydrates
- 1.5 grams fiber
- 542 milligrams sodium (36 percent DV)
- 27 micrograms vitamin B12 (27 percent DV)
- 0.248 mg milligrams B6 (19 percent DV)
- 308 IUs vitamin A (13 percent DV)
- 7 milligrams vitamin C (9 percent DV)
- 0.154 milligrams manganese (9 percent DV)
This is pretty impressive for an onion soup with just five ingredients. It’s packed full of bone broth, my favorite food for healing leaky gut. It’s also exceptional at protecting joints and keeping skin looking young. Additionally, bone broth boosts the immune system naturally by reducing inflammation and helping the gut get in tip-top shape.
How to Make Onion Soup
So how do you make this French onion soup? It’s actually super easy. First, you’re going to make some caramelized onions. This is a really important step to any good onion soup because the caramelized onions are the rich and delicious star of the show. If you don’t caramelize the onions first, this soup would turn out to be really unimpressive to say the least.
Next, you’ll add in your chicken broth and beef broth. If you have chicken or beef stock on hand, those can work too. All that’s left to do now is add some seasoning, bring it to a boil and then allow for some cooking time so this onion soup can reach its ultimate rich and flavorful potential. Let’s get started.
To begin, in a large stockpot over medium heat, melt the ghee. Then add in the sliced onions. If you want, you can replace the ghee with grass-fed butter or avocado oil. While some onion soups contain olive oil, I don’t recommend substituting olive oil because it does not have a high heat threshold.
Cook the onions until they’re lightly caramelized, then add in the broths and garlic. Add salt and pepper and try a sip so you can adjust to taste.
Then crank up the heat so the mixture boils. Once it’s bubbling, reduce the temperature and let the onion soup simmer for 30–35 minutes. The longer it simmers, the more flavor you’ll be rewarded with. In fact, you could even turn this into a slow cooker recipe.
When the soup is ready, ladle it out into bowls or mugs. You can add fresh goat cheese to top off your soup if desired.
Serve this classic French onion soup recipe hot … and enjoy!
- 4 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cups chicken bone broth
- 2 cups beef bone broth
- 4 tablespoons ghee
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- Goat cheese, for topping (optional)
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- In a stock pot over medium heat, melt ghee and thinly sliced onions.
- Cook onions until lightly caramelized.
- Add bone broth and garlic.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 30–50 minutes (the longer, the more flavor).