German Onion Soup

German Onion Soup

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Vickie Parks


German Onion Soup (Zwiebelsuppe, in German) differs from French Onion Soup in that it uses vegetable broth and white wine which results in a lighter broth, though it definitely doesn't scrimp on flavor! Also, the onions are caramelized in fresh herbs which results in a tasty, filling soup with the same bold flavor for which most onion soups are so well known. This version is popular throughout Europe, including the Netherlands.

To freeze: Prepare the soup up to Step 3. Freeze for up to 3 months. To heat: thaw 8 hrs in fridge, heat over low heat, then proceed with Steps 4 & 5.


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10 Min
35 Min
Stove Top


  • 4 medium
    onions (or 2 large) - peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1 Tbsp
    unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup
    dry white wine
  • 1 quart
    vegetable broth (or low-sodium chicken broth)
  • 2 sprig(s)
    fresh thyme
  • 2
    bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp
    black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 4 slice
    thick-sliced french bread
  • 1/2 cup
    grated gouda cheese or grated gruyere cheese

How to Make German Onion Soup


  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven or stockpot. Add a pinch of thyme, nutmeg and black pepper. Sauté sliced onions in the butter mixture for about 15 minutes, or until they start turning golden brown, stirring occasionally.

    To properly caramelize the onions, resist overcrowding the pan. Also, keep the heat steady and don't cook at too high a temperature or you'll scorch the onions before they're properly caramelized.
  2. Add the wine, broth, fresh thyme and bay leaves to the soup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  4. While soup is simmering, prepare the cheese toast by dividing the cheese among the bread slices. Place the breads on a broiler pan, and place under a broiler (or in a counter-top toaster oven) for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese has started to melt. (You don't want the cheese fully melted yet, because it will get broiled again in the next step.)
  5. To serve, remove thyme and bay leaves from the soup. Divide the onion soup among 4 oven-proof soup bowls. Float a cheese toast on top of each serving, then sprinkle a few tablespoons of extra grated cheese on top. Place soup bowls on a broiler pan and place under broiler for a few minutes or until the cheese begins to brown. Serve immediately. Be careful, as the soup will be very hot and can burn if splashed when serving or eating.

Printable Recipe Card

About German Onion Soup

Course/Dish: Vegetable Soup
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: German
Dietary Needs: Low Carb

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