Tuesday, February 16, 2010

French Onion Soup á la Julia Child

French onion soup is so wonderfully comforting and warming; there is nothing better to eat when you're wrapped up on the sofa watching the Winter Olympics.

It takes a few hours to make properly so I usually make it the evening before and allow it to sit for a day in the fridge which only seems to make it better.

I use my food processor (with a slicing blade) to slice the onions as you need a lot of them for this recipe. You can slice them by hand, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have eyes of steel!

This recipe makes enough for 4 big servings, but I wouldn't scale down for 2 as it freezes very well.

Also shown in the picture is Gruyere and Cumin Bread, which fabulous with this soup.


4 tbsp butter
800g white onion, finely sliced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp plain flour
15oo ml beef broth
250ml red wine
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sage
salt & pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add the sliced onions and cook, covered for 10 minutes on medium until the onions are translucent. Stir frequently to ensure the onions don't stick or burn.

Take the lid off the pot and add in the salt and sugar, turning the heat up to medium-high. Cook the onions uncovered, for at least 25 minutes, stiring constantly. The onions should become deep brown and caramelised.

Turn the heat back down to medium and add in the flour. Stir well to ensure there are no lumps of flour remaining and cook for 2 minutes.

Whisk in 200ml of the beef broth to begin with, making sure that the flour is well incorporated.

Add in the remaining stock, along with the red wine and herbs. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

Taste to check seasoning, you will certainly need pepper and might need salt depending on the salt content of the stock used.

For the true French experience, ladle the soup into oven-proof bowls and place a toasted piece of baguette on top. Cover the bread and soup liberally with Gruyére and pop under the grill until the cheese is melted and bubbling.


  1. My mom used to make this soup a lot. She used white toast instead of baguette, but otherwise it's pretty much the same recipe. Perennial favourite chez Klein. And a food processor for chopping onions is great, but won't that turn them into more of a paste? The way I remember this dish, there used to be little recognizable bits of onion in it, at least the way mom made it.

  2. My food processor at least, has a slicer attachment.

    It's a large, circular disk that sits on top as opposed to the blade at the bottom of the processor.