Smoked French Onion Soup

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Smoked french onion soup is the most delicious savory french onion soup you’ll ever have! This easy-to-follow recipe results in a cheese topped bowl of perfectly smoked soup.

Two years ago, around this time, Kevy and I were wheels up for a 40th birthday celebration he’ll never forget. We landed at the TRS Yucatan as pasty white canucks ready for some relaxation in the sun.

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10 days later, we were tanned, relaxed, and it was time to leave. I actually cried into a bowl of delicious french onion soup at La Boheme. I was NOT ready to go home, I even begged him to leave me there with his credit card. Spoiler: He said no.

This year, for obvious reasons, we weren’t able to go. But I was certainly able to recreate that soup!

This smoked french onion soup recipe is dedicated to good memories.

Smoked french onion soup in a mason jar.

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Tips + Tricks

No. 1 –> Really caramelize those onions! Some recipes call for only cooking the onions until they are translucent, but for a super delicious french onion soup, you need to cook those onions down till they’re the same color as dark rum!

No. 2 –> Love onions? Check out my smoked onion recipe for more ideas on what to do with your smoked onions!

No. 3 –> To quickly and easily peel an onion, slice off both the root and stem ends, then, carefully (!) slit the outer most layer of the onion. Grab one side of the sliced layer, and simply peel it off.

No. 4 –> If you’re like me, and have literally no room to store french onion soup bowls, don’t worry! Half-pint wide mouth mason jars work GREAT!

Smoked french onion soup in a mason jar.

Key Ingredients

  • Onions: I smoked yellow onions for 1 hour before slicing and caramelizing. This was plenty of time to give just the right amount of smoky flavor and aroma. You can use any onion, but I recommend yellow or sweet onions.
  • Broth: Generally, french onion soup is made with beef broth, but I made mine with smoked turkey broth, because it’s got enough depth of flavor to hold its own in this broth-based soup and I had some in the freezer! You can use either one.
  • Baguette: I love using a crusty french baguette for this smoked soup recipe. Once toasted, this hearty bread can retain some texture in this brothy soup. Nothing’s worse than soggy bread floating on top of your soup!
  • Provolone: This cheese is smooth and mild with a decadent stretch that’s perfect for this smoked french onion soup.
Overhead view of 4 smoked french onion soups.

How To Make Smoked French Onion Soup

  1. Prepare onions: Preheat your smoker to 180f. Slice both stem and root ends off the onions and remove peels. Place the onions directly on the grill grates and smoke at 180f for 60 minutes or until the onions start to soften and have a smoky aroma. Once smoked, remove onions from the smoker and slice them into rounds, or slice them from root to stem.
  2. Caramelize the onions: Melt butter, bacon grease or lard in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook them down until browned and caramelized. Add the minced garlic and sautee for another minute or two.
  3. Build the broth: Use the sherry to deglaze the pan. To do this, pour in the sherry and using a rigid spatula scrape all the delicious browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot – that’s all flavor, we don’t want to leave that behind! Add flour and stir until thickened. You’ll see how the flour creates a paste in the liquid left in the pan. Add the broth, bay leaves and fresh thyme. You’ll see in the photos below that I forgot to thaw my stock before using it, this is no problem, just break it into chunks small enough to fit in your soup pot. It will thaw! Bring the soup to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Prepare the toppings: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400f. Slice the baguette into 3/4 to 1″ rounds and lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast the rounds in the oven for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown. Personally, I prefer a more toasted bread because it is less likely to result in a soggy mess.
  5. Serve the soup: Preheat oven on broil. Ladle the soup into your french onion soup bowls (If you don’t have french onion soup bowls, use half-pint wide mouth mason jars). Place the soup bowls on a baking sheet for easy transport and baking. Top the soup with a toasted baguette, a slice of provolone. Broil the soup on the top rack for approximately 2 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and a bit bubbly!

Batch + Storage Information

Batch:

This soup recipe makes approximately 10 servings of soup. It can easily be doubled or halved.

Storage:

This smoked french onion soup is easy to store thanks to its broth base. Avoid storing your soup with any bread or cheese on top, these will not keep in the fridge, or freezer without affecting the consistency of your soup.

  • Fridge: Allow your delicious smoked soup to come to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freezer: If you got carried away making delicious soup, and who can blame you, you can even freeze the leftovers. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before transferring it to a freezer-safe container and store it in the freezer for 2 -3 months. Defrost your frozen soup on the counter for 3-4 hours, or in the fridge overnight.
  • Reheat: Reheat smoked french onion soup on the stovetop or microwave before adding toasted bread and cheese!
Smoked french onion soup in a mason jar with a spoon in it.

Variations + Substitutions

More smoked recipes to love!

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📖 Printable Recipe

Smoked french onion soup in a mason jar.

Smoked French Onion Soup

Allyson Letal
Smoked french onion soup is a rich, decadent broth-based soup topped with toasted baguette and melted provolone cheese.
4.73 from 11 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Smoked
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 273 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 sweet or yellow onions
  • ½ cup unsalted butter bacon grease or lard
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons sherry
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 8 cups smoked turkey stock or low sodium beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 baguette
  • 10 slices provolone cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your smoker to 180f. Slice both stem and root ends off 8 sweet or yellow onions and remove peels. Place the onions directly on the grill grates and smoke at 180f for 60 minutes or until the onions start to soften and have a smoky aroma. Once smoked, remove onions from the smoker and slice them into rounds, or slice them from root to stem.
  • Melt ½ cup unsalted butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook them down until browned and caramelized. Add 3 cloves garlic and sautee for another minute or two.
  • Use the 3 tablespoons sherry to deglaze the pan.
  • Add3 tablespoons all purpose flour and stir until thickened.
  • Add 8 cups smoked turkey stock or low sodium beef broth, 2 bay leaves and 3 sprigs fresh thyme.
  • Bring the soup to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400f. Slice 1 baguette into 3/4 to 1" rounds and lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Toast the rounds in the oven for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Preheat oven on broil.
  • Ladle the soup into your french onion soup bowls.
  • Top the soup with a toasted baguette and a slice of provolone cheese.
  • Broil the soup on the top rack for approximately 2 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and a bit bubbly!

Notes

Batch:

This soup recipe makes approximately 10 servings of soup. It can easily be doubled or halved.

Storage:

This smoked french onion soup is easy to store thanks to its broth base. Avoid storing your soup with any bread or cheese on top, these will not keep in the fridge, or freezer without affecting the consistency of your soup.
  • Fridge: Allow your delicious smoked soup to come to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freezer: If you got carried away making delicious soup, and who can blame you, you can even freeze the leftovers. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before transferring it to a freezer-safe container and store it in the freezer for 2 -3 months. Defrost your frozen soup on the counter for 3-4 hours, or in the fridge overnight.
  • Reheat: Reheat smoked french onion soup on the stovetop or microwave before adding toasted bread and cheese!

variations + substitutions

  • Use beef broth if you don’t have SMOKED TURKEY BROTH in your freezer!
  • If you’ve got SMOKED GARLIC, swap that in for the fresh garlic.
  • Use COLD-SMOKED MOZZARELLA instead of provolone.
  • Sub in swiss or gruyere for the provolone.
  • Swap the baguette for cubed italian bread, sourdough loaf, or even crusty french bread.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 273kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 12gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 650mgPotassium: 582mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 454IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 195mgIron: 1mg
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