Recipe: French Onion Soup


After the success I had with Julia Child's Potage Parmentier I decided to give her recipe for French Onion Soup a try, emboldened by my discovery that the floating croutons and baked on shield of cheese that we have served to us in restaurants is not, in fact, part of the original recipe.  There is a variation in Mastering the Art of French Cooking that calls for those things, but the original recipe calls for the soup to be unadorned, a simple, deep, perfect brew.

In case you can't tell already, I am wildly enthusiastic about this soup.

What you'll need:

5 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions
3 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of sugar
3 tablespoons of flour
4 cups of low sodium organic beef stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste


1.  Cook the onions slowly with the butter and olive oil in a heavy bottomed, covered saucepan for 15 minutes.

2.  Uncover, raise heat to moderate, and stir in the salt and sugar.  Cook for 30 to 40 minutes stirring frequently, until the onions have turned an even, deep, golden brown.

3.  Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 minutes.

4.  Off the heat, blend in the stock.  Add the wine, and season to taste.  (Note - I added a bay leaf here, mostly out of habit, but why not?) Simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes or more, skimming occasionally.  Correct seasoning.

5.  Set aside uncovered until ready to serve.  Then reheat to the simmer.

6.  I served it with a fresh baguette on the side and a selection of cheeses (Beemster for me, Brie for him), some fresh fruit and a nice red wine.


This kind of slow, methodical cooking is incredibly soothing.  This kind rustic, elegant meal is my favourite way to eat.  What can I say?  This Onion Soup brings the happy.  Onion Soup?  Where have you been all my life?!  Try this one, you won't be sorry.


  1. Looks pretty good, and would have matched well with our rainy weather today.Instead, we had Pizza Hut. Fail.

    After reading Julie and Julia, I made Boeuf Bourguignon. I toiled. I slaved. I sieved. Special Agent and the baboos said "tastes like pot roast."


  2. Do you think it would work at all with a veggie stock?

  3. Looks yummy Tracey! I don't know if you have ever been to La Palette? A little french restaurant on Queen West? They serve up a mean bowl of onion soup. Toronto Life has there recipe...

    P.S. I made some Knorr onion soup mix last night. Good when you're in a rush but man does it give gas!

  4. You've been going crazy in the kitchen. Not a miss yet, as far as I can see!


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