Monday, November 29, 2010

French Onion Soup

One of my all time favorite things to order when I go out to eat is French Onion Soup. I mean, what can possibly be better than all of that gooey cheese, toasted bread and rich broth? It's happiness in a bowl to me.
Which is why I am completely perplexed as to why I've never tried to make this on my own.  My only excuse is that sometimes, I think I am convinced that creating something this good has got to be really complicated. Plus I have had some broiler issues in the past (one involving setting scones on fire in the oven by accident) that got in the way of recipes like this.

Whatever it was, I'm glad I got over it. I had had all of the ingredients in the house already and finally decided that a cold November day was the perfect time to get over my french onion soup phobias and have a big bowlful for lunch. The only substitution was using sourdough bread for french bread since that was all I had in the house but it was a delicious sacrifice I had to make.

Definitely would make this again. Thank you, Julia Child, for such a tasty recipe! 

French Onion Soup

Recipe adapted from Julia Child, "The Way to Cook (Food Network)


  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 cups thinly sliced onions (about 2-1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 8 cups homemade beef stock, or good quality store bought stock
  • 1/4 cup Cognac, or other good brandy
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 8 (1/2-inch) thick slices of French bread, toasted
  • 3/4 pound coarsely grated Gruyere


Heat a heavy saucepan over moderate heat with the butter and oil. When the butter has melted, stir in the onions, cover, and cook slowly until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Blend in the salt and sugar, increase the heat to medium high, and let the onions brown, stirring frequently until they are a dark walnut color, 25 to 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour and cook slowly, stirring, for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool a moment, then whisk in 2 cups of hot stock. When well blended, bring to the simmer, adding the rest of the stock, Cognac, and wine. Cover loosely, and simmer very slowly 1 1/2 hours, adding a little water if the liquid reduces too much. Taste for seasoning

Divide the soup among 4 ovenproof bowls. Arrange toast on top of soup and sprinkle generously with grated cheese. Place bowls on a cookie sheet and place under a preheated broiler until cheese melts and forms a crust over the tops of the bowls. Serve immediately.

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