Herbal Recipes

Onion + Thyme Soup

Traditional Foods w/Healing Properties

One of my all-time favorite dishes, French Onion Soup (soupe à l'oignon), is a traditional recipe from France that dates back to the 18th century. Once known as food for the poor - this staple dish was made using the abundance of onions that village folks usually had in the fall and winter months. Evolving into a more decadent dish featuring rich beef bone broth, cheese, and bread later on - this classic soup is a people's soup- utilizing the abundance of the season, to create fortifying, satisfying, and healthful meals for the home. This version is one that I make at home, and though the caramelization takes some time, I always find joy in the process of turning a mound full of healing onions and a handful of garden-fresh-thyme into a rich and savory soup that I know is supporting my body throughout the winter months.


Onions have long been used in kitchen-healing practices not only for their high nutritional content (quercetin and sulfur) but for their lung-supportive properties and benefits. Traditionally used in syrups and poultices, onions are the star ingredient in this tradition-meets-modern healing soup. To learn more about onions see my recent post on this coveted seasonal medicine.


3-yellow onions, thinly sliced

2-sweet onions, thinly sliced

2-red onions, thinly sliced

1-leek, thinly sliced

1-shallot, thinly sliced

3-5 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 bay leaves

5-7 sprigs thyme + 2 tsp minced thyme leaves

1-2 tsp worcestershire sauce

3-5 tbl avocado oil (can sub with butter if desired/tolerated)

Salt + pepper to taste

4-6 cups chicken or beef stock (can sub vegetable)

For Traditional French Onion Soup: (1) baguette, soup ramekins, a melting cheese such as jarlsberg, swiss, or emmentaller



Slice all onions, shallot, leek, and mince garlic - set aside. Heat half of the oil/butter to a large heavy-bottomed pan and add leeks, saute for a few minutes. Add the rest of the onions and stir to combine, add additional oil, salt, and pepper and stir to combine again. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30-45 minutes or until onions are caramelized and well-browned. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add broth, worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and let cook on low for 20-30 minutes. I think this soup is best the next day, but it can also be eaten the day of.


For "French Onion Soup"

For a traditional "french onion soup" you'll need a baguette, some sort of melting cheese (jarlsberg is common), and oven-safe soup ramekins. First, gently toast baguette slices, then add soup to ramekins and top with toasted baguettes. Cover with cheese and broil until cheese is melted.


Note: The information is for educational, historical, and research purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site should not be used as medical advice. If you have a medical concern please seek out a qualified health care professional, and always consult your physician before adding herbal supplements into your diet, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication. Do not consume alcohol if you are under the age of 21 years old.

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