3 small white ramekins with cooked french onion soup on a wooden surface with shredded cheese and chunks of bread around them with sliced bread and a towel in the background (with logo overlay)

Kreacher’s Best Classic French Onion Soup Recipe

Kreacher’s cooking vastly improves once Harry is nice to him, and this easy, delicious French Onion Soup is a testament to his good cooking.

Jump to Recipe

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry gives Kreacher the locket that belonged to Sirius’s brother, Regulus Black. Kreacher becomes much more amicable towards the trio and his cooking skills vastly improve. He makes them meals such as breakfast rolls and coffee, a promise of steak-and-kidney pie (which never gets eaten), stewstreacle tarts, and French Onion Soup.

When I was looking for food to make for my Harry Potter Club, there was no way I was making a steak-and-kidney pie. That just sounds horrible. And we met in the evening, so I didn’t want to do breakfast. But French Onion Soup sounded like a great recipe to work on.

Kreacher came bustling to the table with a large tureen in his hands, and ladled out soup into pristine bowls, whistling between his teeth as he did so.

He [Harry] began to spoon soup into his mouth. The quality of Kreacher’s cooking had improved dramatically ever since he had been given Regulus’s locket: Today’s French onion was as good as Harry had ever tasted.

-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Would you believe, before making this recipe, I’d never had French Onion Soup before? Justin gets it almost every time we go to Panera, but I never have. I don’t know why it just never sounded appetizing. But Justin was anxious to try this, so we gave it a shot.

I was worried about the soup having too much onion flavor. I like onions, but I don’t want it to be an overwhelming flavor. Luckily, the way we made this soup, all of the flavors were balanced and I didn’t taste one thing over another. 

Surprisingly, the soup was easy to make. It always looks like a fancy soup. I would have thought it was more complicated. The only reason it takes an hour is that it has to simmer for 30 minutes.

What Type of Onions are the Best Onions for French Onion Soup?

Yellow Onions

After trying a few recipes, yellow onions seem to have the best flavor for traditional French onion soup. They add enough flavor to the soup without being too powerful.

Red Onions

Red onions have a decent flavor for the soup, but they change the color of the soup in the end. They end up making it an unappetizing color to most people. 

White Onions

White onions, while having a good flavor, are mild for the soup. If you want something with more flavor, go for a yellow onion. If you don’t want the onion taste to overpower the rest of the soup then a white onion may be a good choice. 

Sweet Onions

Sweet onions are delicious, but they aren’t exactly right for French onion soup. They are too sweet and that doesn’t balance well with the base of the soup. 

Simple Ingredients & Substitutions

Butter & Olive Oil

The butter and olive oil are used to soften and cook the onion slices. Using both together works well, but you can substitute one for the other if needed. 

​Yellow Onion

As mentioned earlier, yellow onions give the most flavor to the recipe. You can use other onions, though the flavor won’t be quite the same.

Beef Broth

I like to purchase a large container of beef broth. If you poke a hole in the top, it will pour without splashing since that lets air in. You can also use beef stock as either will give a rich flavor with the right amount of salty taste. 

Cooking Sherry

Cooking sherry is the perfect red wine for this recipe. It has a higher salt content than a bottle of sherry wine, but that works well in French onion soup. If you can’t find cooking sherry you can substitute it with a dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or pinot blanc. It’s just a splash of wine, but necessary to get the right flavor. 

Thyme

If you can use fresh thyme, that’s always a better choice as it will add the most flavor. Otherwise, dried thyme works well, too. Other seasonings you can try include bay leaves, oregano, marjoram, parsley, or basil. 

Salt & Pepper

A bit of salt and pepper helps to liven up the meal. If you used salted butter, then you may want to skip the extra salt. 

French Bread

The bread gets cooked under the broiler with gooey cheese on top. We like homemade bread for this, but there are a few options. You can also try making it with baguette slices, toasted bread, cheesy bread, or crostini. No matter which you choose, you’ll want to broil it until the bread and cheese are a deep golden brown. 

Mozzarella Cheese & Parmesan Cheese

Mozzarella and parmesan cheese are perfect because they are melty cheese. Another kind of cheese you can use is Swiss cheese or Gruyere cheese. Both will give you the soft melted cheese that you want for this recipe. 

French Onion Soup Step by Step

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion (sliced)
  • 48 oz beef broth
  • 2 tbsp cooking sherry
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 6 slices French bread
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Preparation

Start by melting the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.

Large stockpot with melted butter on a wooden surface

Add the onions and stir continuously until they are soft and translucent in appearance. This will probably take about 5 minutes.

Large stockpot with melted butter and sliced onions on a wooden surface

Pour in the beef broth, cooking sherry (Professor Trelawney would be proud!), thyme, salt, and pepper. Let this simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Large stockpot with beef broth and sliced onions on a wooden surface
Kreacher's French Onion Soup
Cook’s tip: if you buy the big box of beef broth, make a hole in the top and it will pour without splashing!

Set the oven broiler to low and ladle the soup into one-safe serving bowls.

6 small white ramekins filled with onion soup sitting on a metal baking pan on a wooden surface

Top it with either a full slice of bread or chunks of bread, whichever you prefer. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. We made this with homemade white bread from the bread machine.

6 small white ramekins filled with onion soup topped with chunks of bread and shredded cheese sitting on a metal baking pan on a wooden surface

Place your serving dishes on a baking sheet. Broil for about 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and starts to brown.

3 small white ramekins with cooked french onion soup on a wooden surface with shredded cheese and chunks of bread around them with sliced bread and a towel in the background (vertical)

French Onion Soup Leftovers

Storage: Let the soup come to room temperature. Then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Reheating: For best results, reheat the French Onion Soup in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just warmed through. Stir often so the cheese doesn’t stick to the pan.

Recipe

Originally Published On: June 20, 2018

Last Updated On: May 2, 2024

3 small white ramekins with cooked french onion soup on a wooden surface with shredded cheese and chunks of bread around them with sliced bread and a towel in the background

French Onion Soup

Kreacher’s cooking vastly improves once Harry is nice to him, and this easy, delicious French Onion Soup is a testament to his good cooking.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course:
Main Dish
Cuisine:
French
Keyword:
onions
|
soup
Dietary Needs:
Egg-Free
|
Nut-Free
Servings: 6 cups
5 from 6 votes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion (sliced)
  • 48 oz beef broth
  • 2 tbsp cooking sherry
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 6 slices French bread
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • In a large stockpot, over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil
  • Add the onions and stir continuously for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent
  • Add the beef broth, cooking sherry, thyme, salt, and pepper
  • Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes
  • Carefully ladle the soup into serving dishes
  • Set the broiler to low
  • Top each soup with a full slice of bread, or cut the bread into chunks, whichever you prefer
  • Sprinkle the bread with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses
  • Broil for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and starts to brown
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Nutrition Facts
French Onion Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 475 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 14g70%
Cholesterol 61mg20%
Sodium 1655mg69%
Potassium 253mg7%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 665IU13%
Vitamin C 1.6mg2%
Calcium 243mg24%
Iron 2.9mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

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34 thoughts on “Kreacher’s Best Classic French Onion Soup Recipe”

  1. I love onions soup, which reminds me that I have not made some for a while. I will try your recipe soon. Thanks for sharing.

    1. This was my first time having it, so I can’t personally say how it compares to other places. But my husband has eaten it out many times and really enjoyed this version, too!

  2. This recipe looks new from me. I really want to eat this someday. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I will try do my own.

  3. So did you like it? I’ve had french onion soup twice and have never been a fan but I always think with the right recipe and prepare I might enjoy it. Also this sounds way better than steak and kidney pie!

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you for posting this recipe with pictures. They make reading so much easier. I’ll try to make French onion soup this week.

    1. I am a visual learner most of the time, especially in the kitchen. It helps to know what you are doing the whole way through to make it correctly. I’m glad it’s helped you, too!

  5. 5 stars
    oh my gosh cheese!! I love cheese. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’d love to eat the soup for breakfast or any time of the day

  6. This makes me miss home! My dad loved French onion soup. I’m personally not a soup gal, but I love the smell…weird I know.

  7. 5 stars
    This looks incredible! I absolutely love French Onion Soup so I will definitely be trying this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  8. French onion soup is literally one of my favorite foods!!! So yum! I will have to try making it at home with your recipe!

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