French onion soup is rich and savory, great for any occasion: eat it on its own, an appetizer, or a hangover cure. It is flavorful on its own, but for some people, soup is not satisfying enough for one whole meal.
In this article, we will help you find out what to serve with French onion soup for a simple but delicious three-course meal easy enough for anyone at home to make!
What Is French Onion Soup?
If you’ve never made it before, French onion soup starts with onions seasoned and simmered until soft and caramelized with that sweet oniony flavor.
The onions are simmered in beef (or vegetable) stock before it is placed in heatproof bowls, topped with toast cheese before being broiled to a cheesy brown crust.
There are various modified recipes for French onion soup. Some add a bit of dry wine, apple cider vinegar, or herbs (like coriander, garam masala, and so on). I also saw some people using cumin as a great substitute for coriander but not very often.
On the other hand, some replace toast and regular cheese with French toast and Gruyere. This is up to your preferences and the availability of ingredients in your area.
French onion soup is rich and savory enough to be considered the main course. If you do not want to be overloaded easily, avoid serving appetizers heavy in meat, carbs, and cheese. Opt for lighter flavors to save room for your soup.
Foie gras goes well with French onion soup, but if you’re on a tight budget, it’s out of the question. For an easy appetizer fix, lean and thin deli meat served with fresh leafy greens is one way to go.
Light and fluffy scrambled eggs or deviled eggs (or deviled tofu, for vegetarians) are another.
A small serving of salad goes perfectly with a French onion soup. Choose your favorite salad that is light, made with meats like chicken, crabmeat, or scallops, and dressed with an earthy, citrus-based dressing.
If you want to take your food setting to the next level, consider serving your salad in wonton cups, the recipe for which, as well as an easy crab salad, can be found here.
If you don’t have a mini muffin pan to your wonton cups, here’s one mini muffin pan you can get today!
Main Course for French Onion Soup
If you’re going the traditional route and making your French onion soup an appetizer, a salad with a light dressing balances the savory start of your meal with a lighter but filling the main course.
Steak is fine if you can’t enjoy the main course without protein, but remember that French onion soup already has meat stock, carbs, and cheese.
Try a salmon or halibut steak with a light and creamy herb sauce instead, or replace your favorite beef meal with roast chicken.
Another option is the main pasta course. Tomato and meat sauces can be too heavy, so opt for a white Alfredo sauce with white meat and herbs, or, for a vegetarian option, an excellent pesto and pasta of your choice. Here’s a great recipe for seafood alfredo.
Dessert and Wine
Depending on the occasion, desserts can be as simple or extravagant as you’d like.
However, if you are serving French onion soup as a main course, stick with serving lighter options and avoid thick and creamy desserts like fudgy chocolate cake or gooey filled cakes.
Servings of fruits can go both ways: serve apple and pear slices on its own or, for more indulgent desserts, chocolate-dipped strawberries.
But if you are in the mood for baking, mini French silk crescent pies give you the chocolate and strawberry goodness that won’t be too overpowering with the soup since it is served in small bites.
If you are serving your French onion soup with a glass of wine, your best bet is a dry wine like red or white. Avoid sweet wines when eating your soup, as it would be redundant and overpowering with the sweet onion flavor.
In A Nutshell
French onion soup makes a good meal on its own. However, it would not hurt serving it with a few more courses if you have the ingredients. When thinking of a menu to serve with French onion soup, always keep in mind that light and less savory food goes best.
But remember: to each their own. Light and fruit and vegetable-based courses go well. However, if you are the type of food enthusiast who can handle their cheese and beef, opt for courses with more of that.
What else do you think should be served with French onion soup? Don’t hesitate to comment on your ideas and menu plans below!