Single Lady French Onion Soup

Single Lady French Onion Soup

Sometimes, one can be the loneliest of numbers. This week, I was left home alone. The house was empty. Quiet so. Familiar voices gone and replaced with stillness. Don’t mistake me though; I do enjoy the solitude. There is something oddly comforting in being able to indulge in ‘me time’, to cherish your thoughts and emotions in tranquil silence.  

However, even for the shortest of periods, being alone can feel dispiriting. I often find myself craving the warmth, security and chaos of family. Cooking for one can also be a challenge. The fear of opening a baron fridge, fatigue of leftovers and the complex math needed to modify a recipe for a single serve can drive any sane person into the depressing arms of a bowl of cereal for dinner. After all, why spend hours preparing a dish – if you are dining alone?

Single Lady French Onion SoupSingle Lady French Onion Soup

There are few things more comforting than a bowl of French onion soup and this recipe is perfect for times when cooking for one is a struggle. Don’t be fooled by the title, you do not need to be a single lady to enjoy it. It makes just enough for one single indulgent serving.

The onions are softened and caramelised in garlic butter, then placed in a beef broth laced with red wine, balsamic and thyme and left to simmer. The soup is then finished off with a large slice of crusty baguette topped with a slather of dijon and melted gruyere. The result is a kind of simple, wholesome and nourishing soup, perfect for times when in need of comfort.

It’s understandable why the traditional French Onion soup has stood the test of time. So treat yourself by creating the recipe, it is utterly delicious. Solitude has never tasted so good.

Single Lady French Onion SoupSingle Lady French Onion Soup

Single Lady French Onion Soup
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1
  • 3 white onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced or finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 200ml red wine
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 50g gruyere cheese, sliced
  1. In a large frying pan, heat the butter, garlic and thyme until butter begins to sizzle.
  2. Add the sliced onions and cook until beginning to soften, brown and caramelize.
  3. Whilst the onions are softening, in a large stock pot, place the beef stock, wine and balsamic over medium heat heat. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the onions to the stock pot.
  5. Leave to simmer over medium to low heat for 15 minutes or until the red wine has cooked out and the onions are swollen with liquid.
  6. Pre-heat an oven to 180C (350F).
  7. On a lined baking tray, place the baguette slice.
  8. Slather the slice with the butter, dijon and then top with Gruyere. (You can also add extra thyme leaves, salt and pepper).
  9. Place in the oven and bake until the bread is browned, crisp and the Gruyere has melted.
  10. Remove the soup from the heat, season to taste and ladle. Serve the Gruyere baguette within the soup.

 Single Lady French Onion Soup


  • Reply 6 Tips for a Cheaper, Healthier Grocery List - The Girl on Bloor January 22, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    […] The same goes for leftovers. If you know that you only like your stews or casseroles when they are made fresh, and you despise them as leftovers (no matter how you’ve tried to reheat them!), then make sure you’re not going to be making a big batch that will later go in the garbage. To combat this, I love the idea of making single-sized versions of things you might be craving (but won’t eat as leftovers), like this single-sized French Onion Soup recipe. […]

  • Reply Sam @ SugarSpunRun May 19, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    I am so glad you shared this. I adore French Onion Soup but my husband won’t touch anything with onions. I hate to make a regular-sized batch because it will be wasted, so this single-serving size is so perfect. I’m pinning this right now.
    Thanks Thalia! You have a lovely, well-written blog with excellent photographs.

  • Reply Rachel April 26, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    I made this soup (with a couple of necessary substitutions) and it was AMAZING! I used chicken boullion, since I didn’t have beef broth, and powdered thyme since that was the only kind I had on hand. Since I was making it ahead of time, I just put the caramelized onions with the broth, wine, and balsamic in a crock pot for a couple of hours on high heat. Seriously the best French onion soup recipe I’ve tried. Thank you so much!

  • Reply Ashley | Blissful Basil February 3, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    I love the idea of french onion soup for one — such a clever idea, and your photos are stunning!

  • Reply Rachel @ Grok Grub January 3, 2015 at 2:54 am

    So cute!

  • Reply Dana December 16, 2014 at 4:01 am

    This. Looks. AMAZING.

    I’m actually just completely stuck on your blog right now; there are so many unique recipes and your photos are stunning! Amazing stuff!

  • Reply Priyanka November 25, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I do agree with you – being alone can be a privilege at times until it comes to cook for just myself which seems just terrible to me! I mean, food is best enjoyed with family/friends, right?
    Your ‘single-lady’ soup just looks awesome! And the pictures are killing! Loved all the compositions!

  • Reply kim onushko November 19, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    I made this and it was awesome!!!! Well done Thalz:)
    Love Kim

    • Reply thalia November 20, 2014 at 3:14 am

      Good to hear from you Kim xx

  • Reply Janet November 11, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Your soup looks delicious! Want to double for my husband & I. As a novice cook, this is probably a dumb question, but What would the equivalent in cups be for the 500ml beef stock and the 200ml red wine? Also how much is the 50g gruyere cheese? And is it fresh thyme you use or dried? Thanks so much!

  • Reply Fourth Generation Farmgirl November 5, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    This soup looks fabulous! What lovely photographs, too!

  • Reply Adri October 26, 2014 at 4:49 am

    Well, I am sorry you were home alone, but it looks like you made the best of it. This soup looks absolutely divine, and it is so beautifully shot. Brava!

  • Reply felicia | Dish by Dish October 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Thalia!! You have such a gorgeous website! Love the light in your photos, and love the layout of your blog.

    this recipe is making me drool. Now i want french onion soup for lunch!

    Thanks for sharing !

  • Reply Mir October 21, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I almost never comment on savory recipes, because I’m such a dessert girl. But this soup is totally different. I want it so badly! I’m going to make this tomorrow night. Time for a grocery run!

  • Reply Jackie Carioscia October 20, 2014 at 3:00 am

    Thalia, this looks spectacular! I know what I’m making the next time I find myself cooking for one!

  • Reply Ali Rost October 19, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Thank-you so much Thalia for such a wonderful soup recipe. It doubles beautifully & was tonight’s dinner.

    Thank-you too for such a fun blog .. your posts always make me smile. Wishing you a great week ahead .. Ali

  • Reply Vegan French Onion Soup | Veganosity October 18, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    […] to Thalia at Butter and Brioche, I was reacquainted with my long lost friend. Life is good. Well, it was good before the memory of […]

  • Reply Faith (An Edible Mosaic) October 16, 2014 at 11:43 am

    French Onion is one of my all-time favorite soups…it is perfect comfort food! Your recipe looks wonderful (love that splash of balsamic!) and I will definitely be trying it!

  • Reply Lucy Parissi October 16, 2014 at 9:43 am

    What gorgeous shots! I have pinned this to make – the bread on top of the soup looks especially tempting… I can just taste the crispy edges and melted cheese – pure indulgence. Ok, that’s it I have to make some soup now

  • Reply Alex Caspero MA,RD (@delishknowledge) October 16, 2014 at 4:50 am

    That little pot is everything! I want one! I love putting food into little containers like that- so cute. I was never a fan of french onion soup, until I went to Paris of course. Wow! Oddly, I’ve never tried it at home! This looks great, I think I might try it with vegetable broth and see how it turns out!

  • Reply Maryanne @ the little epicurean October 16, 2014 at 12:00 am

    This recipe is perfect for me! Thanks for sharing! By the way, that is the cutest little pot ever! 🙂

  • Reply ELIZABETH October 15, 2014 at 11:12 am

    This is so pretty, Thalia! Saving the recipe for the rare weekend or evening when I have some alone time. I can see myself sitting at the table for a leisurely lunch with a bowl of this soup and a book.

  • Reply Nagi {REcipetin eats} October 15, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Oh my gosh, I just had to check this out when I saw the recipe title because Single Ladies is on the radio RIGHT NOW! Meant to be!! I am obsessed with french onion soup and I have to say, mine never looks as elegant as yours! Pinned!

  • Reply Dedy@Dentist Chef October 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Damn delicious and comforting soup!!!
    lovin caramelized onion all the way….

  • Reply Nicky @ Kitchen Sanctuary October 14, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Great recipe and pictures Thalia. I’m almost tempted to send my husband and kids out of the house so I can enjoy this alone 🙂

  • Reply Ella-HomeCookingAdventure October 14, 2014 at 7:42 am

    The photos are incredible.. really love your French Onion Soup.. great idea for whenever dining alone.

  • Reply Amanda@ChewTown October 14, 2014 at 5:33 am

    I think that taking time to make a lovely dish when you are on your own is a wonderful thing to do. It’s about making time out for yourself, eating only the things that make you happy and not having to consider any one else’s taste. Gorgeous post.

  • Reply Arpita@ The Gastronomic Bong October 14, 2014 at 1:10 am

    I absolutely adore onion soup. . Looks absolutely delicious.. love the pictures Thalia!! 🙂

  • Reply Aysegul - Ice October 13, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Soup for one is a genius idea… Perfect when my husband leaves for business trips. Oh and French onion soup?!!?! Life doesn’t get better than that!
    Great job my friend!

  • Reply Amy (Savory Moments) October 13, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    This looks to pretty to eat (but I would eat it anyways because it’s one of my favorite soups!) 🙂

  • Reply Kelley October 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Wow this looks absolutely amazing Thalia. Your pictures are beautiful!

  • Reply ami@naivecookcooks October 13, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Girl your photography is simply gorgeous!!

  • Reply Raymund October 13, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    I am quite sick now and just lying in my bed, I think I need this kind of comfort dish.

  • Reply CarriesExpKtchn October 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Thalia I too love French Onion Soup, but have never made it for myself. It always seemed to labor intensive for just one. Yours looks divine and I can’t wait to try it myself. Solitude can be a blessing and a curse. You crave it when you don’t have it, then wish for it when it’s utter chaos.

  • Reply Kari Peters October 13, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    It’s been forever since I’ve had French Onion Soup! I’m loving your downsized version of this yummy classic!

  • Reply Kate // Vegukate October 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Mmmm… this looks amazing! I adore French Onion Soup, it takes me back to nights in Paris 🙂

  • Reply DOnna October 13, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Your photography is stunning and this recipe looks delicious! Where did you get those adorable bowls?? LOVE!

  • Reply easyfoodsmith October 13, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I am intrigued by this soup…i really need to try this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Olivia @ olivia's cuisine October 13, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I’ve been looking for a good french onion soup recipe, since I’ve never had it! I will be making this very soon! I’ll let you know how it goes! 🙂 Pinning!

  • Reply Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen October 13, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    This french onion soup looks absolutely wonderful – stunning photographs! I also love “me” time and when I have the apartment all to myself – that is usually when I get lost in my homework or baking up something in the kitchen. I love recipes like this that are made for one – when I used to live alone I always used to have tons of leftovers!

  • Reply Chris@TalesofaKitchen October 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I so completely understand how you feel! And yes! A bowl of soup works like magic, especially your onion soup. Looks gorgeous x

  • Reply Krissy Allori {self proclaimed foodie} October 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Whoa. This looks amazing. Something about french onion soup and fresh thyme – YUM!

  • Reply Traci | Vanilla And Bean October 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    French onion soup is such a comforting home alone soup. Spending time alone in reflective thought or in nature is a way to nurture our spirit… But I too crave being with friends, family and the hustle and bustle of daily life. Balance, right? Sometimes it’s not so easy to do.

    French onion soup is one of my all time favorites anytime of year. And fresh thyme makes everything feel extra special. Your presentation here, Thalia, is so pretty.

  • Reply Lindsey @ AMerican Heritage Cookin October 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    We must be on the same page! French onion soup is delicious! I love that you made it for one…and your modest amount of cheese is definitely better for the waistline! Pinned!

  • Reply Ann Low October 13, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Mmmm… your French onion soup looks super delicious! Next time I’ll bring some bread over when you’re going to make this soup again 🙂

  • Reply Rachel @ Bakerita October 13, 2014 at 4:19 am

    I’m in college, and therefore constantly cooking for myself. The lack of recipes created for one person is so annoying, so this recipe is PERFECT for me!!! Pinned, and definitely making as soon as it gets freezing cold and I need some comfort food, stat.

  • Reply mjskit October 13, 2014 at 3:07 am

    Every time I go to a French restaurant, I order the French Onion Soup. there’s just nothing like it. Yours is beautiful and if it taste as good as it looks, I’d like to put in an order please.

  • Reply Julie @ Julie's Eats & Treats October 13, 2014 at 2:24 am

    I never appreciated the solitude I had when it was just me. Treasure it! I love the hustle and bustle now but some days I’d give for a little me time 🙂 This soup looks like the perfect way to treat myself!

  • Reply Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice October 12, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    This soup looks incredible, Thalia! French onion is my absolute favorite, yet I’ve never made it myself before. I definitely need to change that! Pinned!

  • Reply Suzy @ The Mediterranean Dish October 12, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    French onion soup is just the thing on a cloudy day like we have today in Iowa! I love it! Good work making a single-serve meal 🙂

  • Reply Cailee October 12, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    This looks delicious! …and as usual, your photography is on point! Just lovely. And I hear ya on being alone. I do enjoy it, but sometimes I just need people!! haha, it’s all about balance for me!

  • Reply Manali @ CookWithManali October 12, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I love that bowl, great recipe Thalia! 🙂

  • Reply Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits October 12, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I LOVE adding thyme in my soups. This looks so yummy, Thalia!

  • Reply Kelly // The Pretty Bee: Cooking & Creating October 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Wow, this soup looks gorgeous! Perfect for fall, total comfort food!

  • Reply Sugar et al. October 12, 2014 at 5:59 am

    One of my favourite soups.This is gorgeous and absolutely comforting. Love the photos too.

  • Reply chantelle October 12, 2014 at 5:18 am

    This is the most darling rendition of french onion soup that I have ever laid eyes upon!

  • Reply Sarah | Drool-Worthy October 12, 2014 at 4:43 am

    I can totally relate – I love being alone, but I hate to cook if I can’t share it! Love the recipe and the pictures 🙂

  • Reply Karen-2Teaspoons October 12, 2014 at 3:35 am

    I love french onions soup and this recipe sounds delicious! Definitely looks like a great companion to enjoy a little solitude with 🙂

  • Reply Amanda Paa October 12, 2014 at 3:25 am

    i’m often on my own for meals and i am so excited to make this. yum.

  • Reply Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl October 12, 2014 at 1:48 am

    This soup looks like pure magic to me. With the weather starting to be cool this soup would hit the spot!

  • Reply Rinku October 12, 2014 at 1:31 am

    This looks and sounds amazing! I have bookmarked to try!

  • Reply judy @ I'm Bored, Let's Go October 12, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Soup for one….perfect since my husband travels during the week! Looks delicious.

  • Reply Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers October 12, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Love French Onion Soup and love that you cooked it for yourself. I am the worst for not cooking nice food for when I’m home alone. I need to fix that!

  • Reply Danielle | Krafted Koch October 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I have rarely met a bowl of french onion soup I don’t like, and this version looks phenomenal! I particularly love the baguette with Dijon and Gruyere.

  • Reply Rachael | SPache the Spatula October 11, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    This is adorable! And I so agree, French onion soup is among the most comforting of dishes!

  • Reply Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. October 11, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    That looks like the perfect bowl of soup Thalia! I love your soup bowl, it is so cute. I’ve never made french onion soup from scratch before, the kids don’t like it. But this is perfect, just make two bowls instead of enough for everyone! Can’t wait to try it.

  • Reply Nora @ Savory Nothings October 11, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    I agree – cooking for one can be a pain! This looks like the perfect solution though – gorgeous pictures!

  • Reply cheri October 11, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I love French onion soup, yours is beautiful!

  • Reply Kelly - Life Made Sweeter October 11, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I love French Onion soup and yours looks delicious!! The little serving pot is so adorable!

  • Reply Gourmet Getaways October 11, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Looks very comforting and tasty. I love the look of the mini-pot, so cute!

    Gourmet Getaways

  • Reply JeSsie@Straight to the Hips, baby October 11, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    The photos for this post are simply stunning! Polished & beautiful! I am a big fan of french onion soup and your recipe sounds delicious.

  • Reply Cheryl October 11, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Thalia.. this is gorgeous! I too enjoy the solitude and sometimes lament the chaos of our home, the constant need to compromise and “check on” certain decisions, so they can be made for two.. But as soon as hubby is out of town, I am desperate for his return! Unfortunately, when I’m left home alone, I almost always end up hitting all of the restaurants I adore but aren’t exactly hubs’s favorite. I am so impressed that you cooked up such a gorgeous dish for yourself! Seriously, always so rustic and elegant. That is YOUR style, girl!

    • Reply thalia October 11, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      Thanks Cheryl! x

  • Reply Chloe Crabtree October 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Many, many years ago I used to make French Onion soup on a regular basis. Over the years, I misplaced my recipe and have relied on having this wonderful warming soup when dining away from home. I will likely use your recipe for two, but it sounds heavenly! Just in time for cooler weather!

  • Reply Martha @ A Family Feast October 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    French onion soup is one of my favorites – and I love having your recipe now as an option for when I just want a small portion! This looks delicious!

  • Reply April @ Girl Gone Gourmet October 11, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Looks like a perfect supper for one — there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of soup, especially this time of year.

  • Reply Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ October 11, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I never cook good stuff when I’m home alone. I see it as the time of experimentation. Usually things go wrong and I end up with a bowl of barley or oats. Your soup looks divine.

  • Reply Sam October 11, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I love these pics, and as a permament single lady this is perfect for me.

  • Reply Katie (The Muffin Myth) October 11, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Beautiful little soup! And that bowl! I’ve been alone all week as my husband has been traveling for work, and I must admit I really enjoy being alone. I am terrible at making myself a fancy meal, however, and I think having an arsenal of single portion meals is important. Lovely recipe, thanks.

  • Reply Maggie | Omnivore's Cookbook October 11, 2014 at 4:07 am

    What a lovely bowl of soup! When dining alone, I love to cook hearty soup too. They are easy to prepare and comforting. A bowl of classic onion soup is a great choice!

  • Reply Crystal | Apples & Sparkle October 11, 2014 at 3:56 am

    Best soup of all time! How great to have a single-serve sized recipe on hand. I see this on my weekday lunch menu very soon! I absolutely love the idea of spreading a little mustard on the baguette. : )

  • Reply ATasteOfMadness October 11, 2014 at 2:41 am

    This soup looks amazing! I have never tried French onion soup before, but I definitely need to soon!

  • Reply Mary October 10, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    This looks so delicious! I really do need to make French onion soup more often!

  • Reply Maureen | Orgasmic Chef October 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    I was craving French onion soup last week and made it for two. We both loved it. I started the day before and sauteed the onions for 10 minutes and then cooled and bagged and placed in a sous vide for 24 hours. The easiest (and most hands off time consuming) onion soup I’ve ever made.

    Yours is much more beautiful!

  • Reply Emma October 10, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    So beautiful! And I adore that little pot 🙂

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