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Gray bowl of Panera style French Onion Soup garnished with fresh thyme.

Copycat Panera French Onion Soup

A classic hearty soup that warms your soul. Serve topped with a crusty baguette pieces smothered with melted gruyere cheese.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine French
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Caramelizing onions 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 340kcal
Cost $8


  • 1 stockpot
  • 1 Rimmed baking sheet


  • 4 yellow onions sliced thin (half moon shape)
  • 1 red onion sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine white wine or broth can be substituted
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 oz Gruyere cheese shredded


  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large saute' pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions start to release their juices.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook until onions are caramelized. This can take awhile, be patient.
  • Add thyme, bay leaves and wine. Cook until liquid is reduced. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add stock and bring to a boil Reduce to simmer and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Ladle soup into bowls that are oven safe.
  • Place toasted baguette pieces on top of the soup and top with shredded cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese melted, golden, and bubbling.


  • Caramelized onions take time. They need to cook low and slow until they are deep golden brown. Stir them occasionally and expect them to take 45-60 minutes.
  • To Thicken French Onion Soup - This soup is not often thickened. However, if you like a thicker soup, you can make a roux with flour and add it to the pan, (after your onions are caramelized and out) with beef broth. 
  • I like to cut the bread into bite size pieces because it is much easier to eat, however, you can just cut the bread into 1 inch slices, brush some olive oil on them, and toast them in the oven, then place one whole slice on top of the soup and mound with cheese.


  • Use low carb or zero carb bread, store bought or homemade
  • Onions are pretty high in carbs, so this can be keto friendly depending on your macros. You’ll also need to watch your serving size.
  • If you use only 2 pounds of onions, you can reduce your net carbs by 2 grams per serving.


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 931mg | Potassium: 719mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 324IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 2mg