How to Make Campbell’s French Onion Soup Better

fresh and hot onion soup

Campbell’s Soup Company has been warming our hearts and stomachs for over 150 years. The story of their French Onion Soup, however, began in the 20th century. This ready-to-eat version of this classic soup is always good, but we are going to show you how to turn Campbell’s French onion soup into restaurant-quality French onion soup.


Table of Contents

How to Make Campbell’s French Onion Soup Better

Onion Soup Ingredients

The main ingredients in Campbell’s French Onion Soup include:

  • Onions: The heart of any French Onion Soup, onions contribute to its deep, rich flavor.
  • Beef Broth: Campbell’s uses a savory beef broth as the base of their French Onion Soup, providing a satisfying depth to the soup.
  • Croutons: These crispy bread pieces add a crunch that contrasts nicely with the soup’s silky texture.
  • Cheese: Often topped with cheese such as Gruyère or Swiss, Campbell’s French Onion Soup can also be enjoyed with your favorite cheese melted on top.


How To Improve the Soup Base

bowl of Onion soup

Enhance the Broth’s Flavor

A key aspect of making Campbell’s French Onion Soup even better is to focus on the broth. While the canned soup might lack some depth initially, you can easily improve its taste by adding a few ingredients. Start by pouring the soup into a pot, and instead of using boiling water, opt for beef or chicken stock.

Add some thyme and bay leaves, and let it simmer for a while to allow the aromas to meld together. A splash of red or white wine can also work wonders in accentuating the flavors – simply let it cook down slightly to balance the taste.


Add Fresh Onions

The second way to elevate your canned French Onion Soup is by incorporating fresh onions. Follow these steps for a more onion-forward taste:

  1. Choose two medium-sized yellow onions and slice them thinly.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat a small amount of butter or olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the sliced onions, stirring occasionally, until they become caramelized and golden brown.

Now that you have your caramelized onions mix them into the soup base and allow everything to simmer for a few more minutes.


Use Fresh Herbs

Adding fresh herbs to your soup can make a world of difference. Some popular choices for French onion soup include:

  • Thyme: This herb has a subtle, earthy flavor that complements the caramelized onions perfectly. Add a few sprigs or about 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme to the soup.
  • Rosemary: Slightly stronger in flavor, rosemary can still work wonders for your soup. Stick to one sprig of fresh rosemary or a pinch of dried rosemary to avoid overpowering the dish.
  • Parsley: Sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley on top before serving for a burst of freshness and color.

Remember to give the herbs time to infuse their flavors into the soup by adding them during the cooking process.


Spice It Up

Feeling adventurous? Why not try adding some new spices to your French onion soup for an unexpected twist? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Cumin: Adding a pinch of ground cumin to your soup can bring an earthy warmth that pairs well with the onions.
  • Turmeric: A little turmeric powder can not only provide a subtle, peppery flavor but also a beautiful golden hue to your soup.
  • Smoked paprika: Introduce a smoky depth to your French onion soup by incorporating a pinch of smoked paprika.

When using these spices, start with just a small amount and adjust according to your taste preference. With these enhancements, your Campbell’s French onion soup is sure to impress.


Add Some Protein

crock of hot onion soup

When looking for ways to make Campbell’s French onion soup even better, consider adding protein to satisfy your taste buds and make it a more fulfilling meal. The two main proteins you can incorporate into your soup are cheese and meat.

Add Cheese for Creaminess

One of the most delightful ways to add protein to your soup is by incorporating cheese. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Gruyere: This Swiss cheese melts beautifully, giving your soup a rich creaminess. Just grate it on top of the soup and let it melt under the broiler.
  • Swiss: A classic choice, Swiss cheese melts well and has a mild, nutty flavor that complements the soup.
  • Provolone: For a milder option, try using provolone cheese, which melts smoothly and adds a delicate flavor to the soup.


Add Some Meat

If you’re craving something heartier, consider adding meat to your soup. Here are a couple of ways to incorporate meat into your French onion soup:

  • Roast beef: Dice some leftover pieces of roast beef and add them to the onions as they caramelize. This adds a rich, meaty flavor to the soup.
  • Sausage: Brown some sliced sausage in a pan, then add it to the soup along with the onions. Spicy sausages like andouille or chorizo can give your soup a little kick.


Bread Pairings

garlic bread

Nothing complements French Onion Soup better than warm, crusty bread. Here are some bread options that pair well:

  • Sourdough: The tangy flavor of sourdough contrasts beautifully with the rich, savory soup. Slice it thickly and toast it lightly.
  • Baguette: A classic choice, the crispy crust and soft interior of a baguette provide the perfect crunch to your soup.
  • Garlic Bread: Add a flavorful twist by serving your soup with homemade or store-bought garlic bread.

You can serve the bread on the side, or you can create a topping for your soup by placing a slice of your chosen bread on top, sprinkling it with shredded cheese, and broiling it until the cheese is bubbly and golden.



What extra ingredients can improve Campbell’s French onion soup?

To give your soup a flavor boost, consider adding a splash of wine or sherry, fresh thyme, or a bay leaf.


What can I add to French onion soup to reduce sweetness?

If you find your Campbell’s French onion soup to be too sweet, you can balance it out by adding a bit of vinegar, such as balsamic or red wine vinegar. Another option is to stir in some Dijon mustard or a pinch of salt to counteract the sweetness.


How can I enhance the onion flavor in canned French onion soup?

To intensify the onion flavor, sauté additional sliced onions in butter until they are soft and golden brown. Then, mix them into your canned soup. You can also add a dash of onion powder, garlic powder, or a splash of Worcestershire sauce for extra depth of flavor.


What cheese pairs well with Campbell’s French onion soup?

Swiss or Gruyère cheese are classic choices for pairing with French onion soup. Melt your chosen cheese on top of the soup – either directly on croutons or baguette slices or place a layer of cheese over the entire surface of the soup.


Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.