Authentic French Onion Soup

4 Oct

John and Jeff came over for dinner last October right before we went to a Haunted Ski Mountain/Chairlift. We were both making certain parts of the dinner. I think I made my burgers for dinner and Country Apple Gallette for dessert and John and Jeff brought over the most amazing French Onion Soup I’ve ever had in my life. I dont even LIKE French Onion Soup and I couldnt get enough of this soup.


Sautee onions

He sent me the recipe – it was a Julia Child recipe. It looked so easy and I knew it tasted so amazing. I couldnt wait to make it. I made it for a family get-together. And then made it for one of my Girls Nights. I was going to have to substitute vegetable broth instead of beef broth because my one girlfriends is a vegetarian. But it would have been allright. I ended up not having to because she couldnt make it.

Flour and onion mixture

Let it simmer

It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it’s really easy and goes together quickly. If you have a large food processor, you can easily slice the onions in a few minutes. That cuts down  a LOT on the time.

Crisping the bread

Bread in soup before the cheesebake finish

Getting ready for cheesybake!

Here it is at Work Girls Night Dinner

Authentic French Onion Soup (Courtesy of Julia Child)


  • 5 -6 cups yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 6 cups beef stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1 cup wine (dry red or white)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces swiss cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 raw yellow onion
  • 2 -3 tablespoons cognac
  • 8 slices French bread (about 1 inch thick)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, for drizzling


Place heavy bottom stock pot or dutch over over medium-low heat.

Add 1 Tbs cooking oil, 2Tbs butter to pot.

Add sliced onions and stir until they are evenly coated with the oil.

Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until they are very tender and translucent.

To brown or caramelize the onions turn heat under pot to medium or medium high heat.

Add 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt and continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently until the onions have browned and reduced significantly.

Once caramelized, reduce heat to medium-low and add 3 Tbs flour to the onions.

Brown the flour for about 2-3 minutes trying not to scorch it. (If the flour does not form a thick paste, you can add a bit more butter here).

Stir in about 1 cup of warm stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up all of the cooked-on bits.

Add the rest of the stock, wine, sage, and bay leaf to the soup.

Simmer for 30 minutes.

To make the “croutes” (toasted bread), heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Drizzle each side of the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and place on baking sheet.

Cook the croutes for 15 minutes in oven on each side (30 minutes total).

Check the soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Remove the bay leaf (if you can find it).

Transfer to a casserole dish or individual oven-safe dishes or crocks

At this point you can add the 2-3 Tbs cognac and grate the 1/2 raw onion into the soup.

Add a few ounces of the swiss cheese directly into the soup and stir.

Place the toasted bread in a single layer on top of the soup.

Sprinkle the rest of the cheese in a thick layer on top of the bread making sure to cover the edges of the toast to prevent burning.

Drizzle with a little oil or melted butter.

Place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Then turn on broiler and brown cheese well.


2 Responses to “Authentic French Onion Soup”

  1. dskrzycki October 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Sadly, I would be the only one in my house that would eat this. Sounds amazing!

    • lmullane October 8, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

      Oh bummer – you might wanna give it a whirl anyway. I didnt think I would like it but I ended up LOVING it. The booze really ties it all together.

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