There are many recipes for onion soup but this Italian inspired French onion soup version is one of the tastiest. It’s a rich onion soup with fontina and mozzarella, along with red wine, beef broth and more. The flavour of this Italian style onion soup topping is going to be your new favourite.
Consider making Italian style onion soup for dinner. You can serve it in small bowls as an appetizer or in larger ones for a heartier meal.
Italian Inspired French Onion Soup Ingredients
This is the best onion soup recipe if you want to add a touch of Italy to this rustic, classic French recipe. The basis of the soup comprises beef broth, red wine, onions, garlic, fresh thyme leaves, and sugar.
The soup topping is bread and cheese, although not the gruyere classic French onion soup is known for. There is some versatility in the choice of cheese for French onion soup. If it melts, it will work! So here we are using mozzarella and fontina for a hint of Italy. Grated cheese or slices of fontina will work.
Something else that’s different from the traditional French dish is that we are using sweet onions along with red onions here rather than just yellow onions. The sweetness of the sweet onions contrasts nicely with the sharp, bold taste of the more intense red ones. There is no problem using whatever kind of onions you prefer in this onion soup with fontina and mozzarella though.
Make sure you choose a dense, crusty type of bread since it needs to hold up in the soup. You don’t want it to disintegrate in there.
Cornstarch is an optional ingredient. If you don’t mind your Italian style onion soup to have a thin consistency you can simply omit this ingredient. If you prefer it quite thick, you can even use a little extra. It’s completely your call.
How to Make the Best Italian Inspired French Onion Soup
Ready to make the best onion soup recipe with an Italian flair? Let’s take a look at how to prepare it. First you’re going to roast the garlic in the oven and this makes it sweet, caramelized and delicious! Fresh roasted garlic is amazing in this Italian style onion soup and probably in every onion soup recipe.
Brown seasoned sliced onions with sugar in olive oil and butter in a pan for half an hour or until caramelized. Mix in some of the garlic then add the red wine and thyme followed by the beef broth and the chicken bouillon cubes. You will love the sweet flavour!
Simmer the soup for a white and then give it a taste test. Now you can adjust the seasonings in your Italian inspired French onion soup if need be. Also, this is where you mix in a cornstarch slurry, if using.
Divide the soup into bowls and top each one with bread cubes and cheese. Broil until bubbly then serve garnished with fresh herbs if liked.
Onion Soup with Fontina and Mozzarella Variations
Since the classic French onion soup recipe was tweaked to make this Italian inspired French onion soup, there are all kinds of variations you could make. This is one of those French dishes that is very versatile and really a simple soup to customize to your favourite flavours.
For example, when it comes to cheese for French onion soup, you can stick with mozzarella and fontina or add in some traditional gruyere too. Perhaps you want to try another kind of cheese mixture here. There are many combinations of types of bread and cheese for French onion soup, so you can get creative with your soup topping! Even how you cut the bread can be changed. You can try cubes of ciabatta bread (or any cubed bread) or sliced ciabatta bread (or baguette slices).
Swap the chicken bouillon cubes for beef bouillon cubes or another kind if you want. Chicken stock or beef stock would work, too. You can try white wine or sherry wine or even use red grape juice if you prefer not to use wine. Alcohol-free red wine is another option.
How to Tell When the Onions are Caramelized
Caramelizing onions is an important step in making onion soup with fontina and mozzarella or any variety. It’s perhaps even more important that getting the soup topping spot-on.
But how do you make caramelized onions them like a pro? First of all melt the sugar in the butter before adding the thinly sliced onions. They should barely sizzle – too much sizzle means too much heat and that means they’ll burn before they’re caramelized! Stir them often but not constantly and give them about half an hour. When they’re caramelized they’ll be browned, sweet-tasting and soft.
Italian Style Onions Soup FAQs
Just as you can use any cheese for French onion soup, you can also choose any kind of onions. Mix and match large Vidalia onions or another sweet onion variety with white or red onions which have more ‘bite’. Else stick with one kind. To be honest, I think any kind of onion would be amazing in this!
It’s important to use dense bread, not a light type that falls apart, and keep an eye on the soup topping while it’s under the broiler. Burning it would ruin all your hard work!
When properly stored, cooked French onion soup will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze cooked French onion soup, freeze it in a covered airtight container.
Italian Inspired French Onion Soup Recipe
Italian Inspired French Onion Soup with Fontina and Mozzarella
- 1 Loaf bread hearty Italian style, Rosemary Italian Loaf is great
- 4 Cups beef broth
- 1/2 Cup red wine
- 2 sweet onions
- 2 red onions
- 1 Head garlic
- 5 Ounces Fontina cheese
- 4 Slices Mozzarella cheese
- 2 Cubes chicken bouillon
- 2 Sprigs thyme fresh
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 Teaspoon onion powder
- 1 Teaspoon brown sugar
- To roast the garlic, take the garlic and slice the top off so that it exposes all of the cloves. Place the garlic into a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over the top of the exposed cloves and season lightly with salt and pepper. Pull all of the corners of the aluminum foil up and squeeze together to create a tight teepee over the top of the garlic. Place the garlic in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes.
- While the garlic is roasting, slice all of the onions into thin slices.
- Place the butter and olive oil into the bottom of a heavy bottomed pot, add in the onions and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper
- Cook the onions on medium-low heat for at least 30 minutes to caramelize, stirring occasionally.
- While the onions are cooking, cut the bread into bite sized cubes and set aside.
- Onces the onions are soft and caramelized, add in 5 cloves of roasted garlic and mix together.
- Pour in the red wine and fresh thyme, simmer for a couple minutes then add in the beef broth and chicken bouillon cubes.
- Simmer the soup for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, carefully taste the soup and add additional seasoning as needed. If you prefer a thin brothy soup move on to step 8, however, if you prefer a thicker soup with a bit of body you can make a cornstarch slurry by mixing together a ¼ cup of water with 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. Pour half of the slurry into the soup, stir, then let simmer for a minute – if you prefer the soup to be thicker add the remaining slurry.
- Divide the soup into 4 oven safe soup bowls.
- Top each of the soups with a layer of the chopped up bread, then a slice of mozzarella cheese, then ¼ of the fontina cheese.
- Turn the broil function on your stove on. Place the soups together onto a baking sheet, then place into the oven under the broiler. Watch the soup carefully to ensure the top does not burn, remove from the oven once they are melted, golden, and bubbly.
- The bread used should be a hearty, dense, crusty bread. If you use too light of a bread you run a risk of it just disintegrating into the soup. I love to use flavoured breads for this soup, I highly recommend using a rosemary Italian loaf, a roasted garlic loaf would also be delicious!
- If you want a thicker soup use 2 tablespoons or more of corn starch
- Garnish with fresh thyme or basil
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Try this Italian inspired French onion soup the next time you’re in the mood for tasty comfort food. This is one of the best onion soup recipe options for an intensely beefy, sweet and delicious flavour and you will love the nod to Italian cuisine! All the rave reviews will confirm that this Italian version of French onion soup is so tasty!
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Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
This looks insanely delicious!
I love onion soup but I haven’t made it in forever, it sounds delicious!
My grandma’s all-time favorite soup was french onion soup. I can’t wait to try this version!
What an incredible soup! This flavor is perfection and the cheese on top is so cozy. Will be making this again soon.
OMG! Onion soup is really good! I love this!
This is the soup that the colder weather has been calling for! I love the croutons on top then the cheese baked over it.