French Onion Soup, née Soupe a L’Oignon Gratinee, is a always in perfect taste.  Just ask all of my Café des Amis-Balthazar-La Boulange-doting friends.  The juxtaposition of consommé with caramelized onions and bubbling cheese served in mini-tureens offers a light/rich combination that leaves you satisfied for the rest of the evening.  The soup alone is so delicious that the carbless might be tempted to leave out the toast and cheese… but what fun would that be?


Though the aforementioned brasseries offer beautiful versions of the classic soup, not a single one trumps the delectable aromatics, scrumptious taste, or ease of cooking your own pot.  In fact, the most difficult part of making Soupe a L’Oignon Gratinee at home is waiting for the onions to properly cook-down.  Yes, dear reader, patience is a virtue.  And this particular virtue is worth waiting for.  xx tt


Recipe – adapted from Julia Child


·  2 pounds (7 cups) sliced yellow onions

·  3 tablespoons butter

·  1 tablespoon olive oil

·  1 teaspoon kosher salt

·  ½ teaspoon sugar (helps the onions brown, if your onions are taking particularly long to finish cooking-down add another pinch of sugar)                                     

·  3 tablespoons flour

·  2 quarts BOILING beef stock (if you are up for the task, by all means make your own beef stock, but I promise you don’t need it)

·  ½ cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc)

·  3 tablespoons congnac (or brandy – it’s much more affordable)

·  Crusty french baguette

·  1.5 cups gruyere cheese

·  1.5 cups parmesan

·  Salt + Pepper to taste

Instructions (these look long and difficult, but only because I outlined your every move to take out any of the guess work)

·  Slice the onions into rings, and then in half - use your cuisinart, lover, roommate, or goggles (if you must) for help, this quantity of onions is guaranteed to cause crocodile tears…

·  Put the butter and oil into a large pot (several quarts – like you would use for a stew or pasta noodles)

·  Cook the onions for 15 minutes with a cover over the pot on medium-low heat

·  Uncover, raise heat to medium, and stir in the salt and sugar

·  Cook for at least an hour stirring every five minutes - making sure to scrap the burned brown bits off the bottom of the pot, until the onions have turned a dark brown (I made a double-batch, which meant that the onions took almost three hours to properly brown, see pictures above for reference)

·  Fifteen minutes before the onions are done cooking, boil the beef stock separately

·  Sprinkle the flour into the caramelized onions and stir for a few minutes until the flour is incorporated

·  Turn off the stove, and pour the boiling beef stock into the onion mixture

·  Add the wine, salt, and pepper (likely a couple tablespoons of each, depending on your desired taste)

·  Simmer for 30-40 minutes over medium-low heat partially covered (slant the pot-top over the pot so that there is a small gap in between the pot and the lid for steam to escape)

·  While you are waiting for the soup to simmer, slice the baguette (one to two pieces per bowl) and brush/drizzle olive oil and a little salt onto one side of each piece, and place on a baking sheet

·  Broil the slices for about five minutes each (keep an eye on the bread, it is extremely easy to burn them, especially because broilers may vary in intensity)

·  Once the bread looks like toast, take them out and set aside

·  After forty minutes the soup will be done simmering and you will want to turn off the heat and stir in the cognac/brandy

·  Bring the soup to a quick boil, and then ladle into tureens or oven-safe bowls

·  Heat the oven to 325 degrees

·  Float one or two toasts on each bowl (for extra flavor, rub the toasts with a peeled garlic clove)

·  Sprinkle both of the cheeses and drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil onto each tureen

·  Place the bowls on a baking sheet, and bake for twenty minutes in the oven

·  After twenty minutes, turn on the broiler again for a few minutes to brown the top lightly

To learn more about me, click here!