Your French Onion Soup Will Taste Like Heaven With One Simple Swap

From the gooey cheese to the sweet caramelized onions to the savory bread to the salty and hearty broth, the flavor notes of French onion soup combine to create a delicious dish. Of course, there are various ways to make the soup. Some people opt for croutons rather than bread, some use chicken stock rather than beef stock, and some add your favorite type of red wine or sherry, while others leave the alcoholic drink out.


Though many French onion soup fans swear by using Gruyere or even Swiss cheese, there's no harm in playing around with that gooey topping. Next time you make a batch of French onion soup, try switching things up and using Comté cheese. It's similar to Gruyere in many ways, including its nutty taste and good melting profile. Many French foodies on Reddit even claim that Comté is the ultimate cheese for French onion soup. The incredibly complex flavor of Comté can elevate your soup to the next level.

Gruyere vs Comté cheese for French onion soup

Gruyere is a hard Swiss cheese that has a sweet and earthy flavor. It has a very dense texture, and it's also slightly salty. The flavor of Gruyere can vary based on how long the cheese has aged. Younger blocks will be more creamy and nutty, while more mature blocks will be more earthy and complex. It also melts really well because it has a high water-to-oil ratio. This deliciously even gooey melting is part of what makes it such a great cheese for French onion soup. The complex flavors also add to the soup that admittedly would be quite boring without broiled cheese on top.


Comté, on the other hand, is a semi-hard French cheese. Extremely popular in its country of origin, it has a dense and firm texture and a complex flavor profile. The flavor of Comté can vary, though it's often described as fruity, nutty, or savory. Comté is also known as a diverse cheese because the Jura Mountains in the Comté region of France, where the cheese comes from, has diverse soils and microclimates. In fact, Comté is such a versatile cheese that it has its own flavor wheel. This, along with the age of the cheese, is what contributes to the diversity in flavor profiles. Like Gruyere, it's also a good melting cheese with a complex flavor, making it ideal for French onion soup.

Why you should try comté cheese in French onion soup

The goal of any cheese in French onion soup is to add a rich flavor and a nice texture in your mouth. That bubbly and creamy cheese can make or break the dish. With both Gruyere and Comté cheese, the nutty and earthy flavors are a good complement to the sweet and savory soup. According to the Cheese Professor, a young Comté is an excellent swap for Gruyere because it's smooth and has notes of caramel. This caramel flavor complements the caramelized onions, and the nuttiness of Comté also adds some depth of flavor.


Because the cheese is a topping on the soup and not an ingredient integral to the cooking process, you shouldn't need to adjust the amount of cheese you use. In fact, some French onion soup recipes don't even call for an amount — you can add cheese to your liking. You might need to taste a few bowls of the soup until you find the amount of Comté you prefer. Everyone can probably agree that eating an extra bowl of delicious soup to get the cheese just right is never a bad thing.