Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Julia Child's French Onion Soup

Just look at that golden, gooey, perfection. It's a beautiful thing!

Soooo, french onion soup is a new thing for me. I've always wanted to try it, but never really did until a couple of weeks back. It was Valentine's Day, I was looking for a tasty appetizer for our romantic meal at home, and having watched Julia Child make her version on an episode of the French Chef, I was inspired to give it a go myself. And by 'myself', I actually mean my hubby. He was head chef on this course, and I, busy prepping other aspects of our meal, just helped when needed. In any case, this recipe was delicious! It takes a bit of time to make but the results are definitely worth it. I would honestly eat that cheesy bread topping every day. I'm not even joking.

Anywho, I would like to mention that although I don't like to post recipes I've tried only once, I'm making an exception with this one. After all, Julia Child is a cooking legend, so you know this recipe is good.


  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 8 cups thinly sliced Onions (about 2-1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Flour
  • 8 cups homemade Beef Stock, or good quality store bought stock (we used store bought)
  • 1/4 cup Cognac, or other good Brandy (we used St. Remy Brandy)

  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • 8 (1/2-inch) thick slices of French bread, toasted (a.k.a. Croutes - instructions listed below!)

  • 3/4 pound coarsely grated Gruyere
 *Note: We actually divided this recipe in half to prepare just enough for 2 people.


1) Heat a heavy saucepan over medium 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. 
2) 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.

3) Sprinkle in 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 (we just heated it in the microwave). When well blended, bring to the simmer, adding the rest of the stock, Brandy, 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
4) In the meantime, prepare the 'croutes'. Slice your french bread into thick slices, brush each side with olive oil and place in your over at 350 degrees F for 10-20 minutes. Essentially you want them well toasted and hard, but not burnt.
 5) When the soup is ready, divide it 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. Be sure to cover the croutes completely with cheese, otherwise they will burn under the broiler. Serve immediately.

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