French onion soup is a classic dish that warms the soul. It features a rich broth, caramelized onions and a gooey cheese topping. If you can’t consume gluten, no need to miss out on all that deliciousness. This gluten free French onion soup recipe not only caters to those with gluten sensitivities, it’s also keto friendly. This is a comforting soup that delivers a hearty flavor that make it an all-time favorite.
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Why Love This Recipe
- It’s Celiac-friendly: For those living with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, finding safe and satisfying meals can sometimes be a challenge. This recipe ensures that even those following a strict gluten-free diet can indulge in this pleasure.
- Bursting with Flavors: The combination of sweet caramelized onions simmered in a savory beef broth infused with red wine and balsamic vinegar creates layers of yummy flavors.
- Comforting and Satisfying: There’s something incredibly comforting about a bowl of warm soup topped with melty cheese. The richness and depth of this dish make it perfect for chilly evenings when you need some cozy nourishment.
- Easy to Make: Despite the fancy name, making this gluten-free version of French onion soup at home is surprisingly simple! With simple ingredients and straightforward techniques, it’s an excellent choice for both seasoned cooks and beginners alike.
What is French Onion Soup?
French onion soup originated in France back in the 18th century as a staple found in working-class homes due to its affordability. Over time, it gained popularity worldwide as a gourmet delicacy renowned for its unique blend of flavors.
Traditionally made using beef stock or broth combined with caramelized onions, the soup is typically served with crusty bread and melted cheese on top.
Overview of Ingredients Needed
Unsalted Butter: Used to sauté the onions and adds richness and flavor. Make sure to use unsalted butter to control sodium content.
Sweet Onions: The main ingredient of this comfort food! Sweet onions, like Vidalias, have a mild and sweet flavor, which is ideal for French onion soup.
Dry Red Wine: Wine adds depth and complexity to the soup. The alcohol evaporates during cooking, leaving behind its flavor. Make sure the wine you use is gluten-free. You can also use a dry white wine.
Balsamic Vinegar: Balsamic vinegar adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the soup. It enhances the overall taste and complements the sweetness of the onions.
Beef Broth: Beef broth serves as the base of the soup and provides a rich and savory flavor.
Bay Leaves: Bay leaves are aromatic herbs that add a subtle earthy flavor to the soup. Don’t forget to remove the leaves before serving. I’m good at forgetting to do that!
Garlic Powder: Garlic powder adds a hint of garlic flavor to the soup without the need for fresh garlic cloves.
Fresh Thyme: Thyme has a slightly minty and earthy flavor. It adds freshness and complements the flavors of the onions and beef broth.
Worcestershire Sauce: Adds a savory and umami flavor to the soup. Check the label to ensure the brand you’re using is gluten-free.
Gruyère Cheese: A classic choice for French onion soup. It has a rich and nutty flavor that melts well and forms a delicious cheese topping.
Asiago Cheese: Asiago adds a sharp and tangy flavor to the soup. You can also use parmesan cheese or pecorino romano.
How to Make Gluten-Free French Onion Soup
Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sliced onions, season them with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes then reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, approximately 30 – 45 minutes.
Once the onions are caramelized to a rich golden brown color, add in the red wine and balsamic vinegar. Gently scrape the browned bits off the bottom with a spatula.
Add the beef broth, bay leaves, garlic powder and thyme. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Stir to combine.
Increase heat to medium high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Loosely cover the pot with a lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about two hours.
Remove from heat, stir in the Worcestershire sauce and discard the thyme stems and bay leaves.
Ladle soup into four large ramekins or bowls. Make sure they are oven safe. Place slices of the Gruyere cheese on top of the soup, followed by the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Place top oven rack in the second position from top and set the broiler to high.
Arrange ramekins on a large, rimmed baking sheet and place on the top oven rack. Broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown, approximately 6 – 8 minutes. Remove from oven and serve hot garnished with a few fresh thyme leaves. Enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
- Sweet onions: If sweet onions are unavailable, you can use white or yellow onions instead. Red onions don’t caramelize as well so I would stay away from those for this recipe.
- Cheese alternatives: Feel free to experiment with different types of melting cheeses like Mozzarella or Provolone.
- Make it Vegan: For a vegan-friendly version, substitute butter with extra virgin olive oil or vegan butter, beef broth with vegetable broth, and use dairy-free cheese that melts well.
- Gluten-free bread/cracker toppings: Serve alongside crusty gluten-free bread slices or sprinkle homemade gluten-free croutons on top for added texture.
Tips for Success
Be Patient: The key to achieving those beautifully caramelized onions lies in low heat cooking over time. Don’t rush this step; let them take their time to reach that sweet golden perfection.
Use Good-Quality Broth/Stock: Quality beef broth enhances the taste of your final product significantly. Opting for homemade stock or selecting trusted grocery store brands will elevate your soup’s flavors. You’ll be surprised at how awful most store bought broths are.
Wine Choice Matters: While choosing a red wine for the soup, pick one you enjoy drinking. A tip I heard from Geoffrey Zakarian. If you won’t drink it, don’t put it in your food.
FAQs about Gluten-Free French Onion Soup
Can I make this soup in advance?
Yes, you can make this soup ahead of time and simply reheat it when ready to serve. The flavors may deepen even further.
How long will leftovers last?
Stored properly in an airtight container, French onion soup should stay fresh for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
Can I freeze leftover soup?
Absolutely! You can freeze the cooked and cooled soup (without broiled cheese) in individual portions. Thaw and reheat on the stovetop or microwave as needed.
Indulging in a glorious bowl of gluten-free French onion soup is no longer out of reach! This easy french onion soup recipe is simple yet spectacular, you can savor all the comforting goodness while catering to your dietary needs.
Looking for more cozy soup recipes?
Easy Gluten Free French Onion Soup
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 lbs. sweet onions, trimmed and sliced
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 cup beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 8 oz Gruyère cheese, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, grated
- Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sliced onions, season them with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes then reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, approximately 30 – 45 minutes.
- Once the onions are caramelized to a rich golden brown color, add in the red wine and balsamic vinegar. Gently scrape the browned bits off the bottom with a spatula.
- Add the beef broth, bay leaves, garlic powder and thyme. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Stir to combine.
- Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Loosely cover the pot with a lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about two hours.
- Remove from heat, stir in the Worcestershire sauce and discard the thyme stems and bay leaves.
- Divide the soup between four large oven-safe ramekins or bowl. Top with slices of the Gruyère cheese, followed by the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Place top oven rack in the second position from top and set the broiler to high.
- Arrange ramekins on a large, rimmed baking sheet and place on the top oven rack. Broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown, approximately 6 – 8 minutes. Remove from oven and serve hot garnished with a few fresh thyme leaves. Enjoy!