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Semi-Sweet French Onion Soup Recipe

Maria is a master of public health, and a master gardener. She & husband Bo, known online as The Gardener & The Cook are in coastal Alabama.

Semi-sweet French onion soup

Semi-sweet French onion soup

A Unique Take on French Onion Soup

This is my own unique French onion soup recipe. It is unique because it is somewhat sweet. Although I avoid buying food in cans, I do prefer to use canned beef broth for this recipe. I like to make my own croutons, but the store-bought type is always an option.

I Gave Up Searching, and Made My Own

After having a delicious bowl of onion soup in a restaurant on a trip in the early 1990s, and never again finding any that we liked — and we've tried a lot — I decided to make my own. This recipe is the result. We have enjoyed it for years, but we had never served it to anyone else until just a few years ago.

Before relocating, we frequently had dinner with our neighbors, and on one occasion I made this soup to go with a grilled main course. They raved over it. There was plenty, so I sent them home with extra. There was still enough for Bo and me to enjoy the next night.

Of course, if you prefer a savory soup, simply limit the amount of sugar or stevia. Some sugar is required, however, for caramelizing the onions.

The provolone cheese is melted and the soup is ready to serve.

The provolone cheese is melted and the soup is ready to serve.

Keep Chopped Onions and Peppers in Your Freezer

I keep chopped onion in my freezer. Each time I cut a new onion, if I do not use it all, I chop the remaining portion, and add it to my stash in the freezer. I write the date on the freezer bags, of course, so the oldest onion is used first. Also, when Vidalia onions are in season, we buy lots of them to chop and freeze for use during fall and winter when they are not available.


  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cans beef broth
  • Croutons, homemade or store-bought
  • Dash of salt
  • Garlic powder, if desired
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
Wilting the onions over low heat

Wilting the onions over low heat


  1. Melt the butter in a soup pot over low heat. Add the onions, and cover. Let the onions simmer on low-to-medium heat until they are soft.
  2. Add the sugar, and stir until onions and sugar are well mixed. Allow the onions to caramelize uncovered.
  3. Add a dash of salt and beef broth, and stir well.
  4. Add garlic powder, if desired.
  5. Add sugar or stevia, if needed to suit your taste.
  6. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  7. Place the croutons in onion soup bowls, and pour soup over the croutons.
  8. Lay one slice of provolone over top of each bowl of soup.
  9. Place the bowls of soup under the broiler or in the microwave just long enough to melt the cheese.
  10. Serve alone or before the main course of your meal.

About That Sugar...

I often substitute organic stevia for part of the sugar, because sugar causes inflammation, not to mention a host of other health problems. We are trying, little by little, to make our diets healthier.

© 2021 MariaMontgomery