Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: French Onion Soup

Last night's snowy day dinner consisted of French Onion Soup, made the traditional French way.  Yes, Julia Child would be happy to know that I prepared the onions in plenty of butter, and was rewarded accordingly with the perfect French Onion Soup.  If you are interested in French Cooking, making a good French Onion Soup, or a perfect Julia Child Omelet is a much better place to start than testing out your luck on Boeuf Bourguignon.  This recipe make the perfect French Onion Soup for two and is a great beginner recipe as you begin to delve into French cooking.

French Onion Soup (Serves 2 to 3)
5 T butter
1 T flour
4 medium onions, diced
1 quart of organic beef broth
10-12 slices of French Bread, each topped with 1T of grated Gruyere cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the onions in a dutch oven over medium heat in the butter, for about 30 minutes, until the onions are soft and lightly browned.  Don't cut this process short, as it is essential to allow the onions to brown naturally using the buttery goodness.  Don't use Canola Oil (or, margarine) as a substitute - this is a recipe where the taste of the butter is really essential.

Next, add a tablespoon of flour and mix into the onions.  Add the beef broth and bring to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to simmer, and simmer for about 20 minutes, with the lid of the dutch oven covering the soup, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Next, put in a small Le Creuset Dutch Oven, or better yet, broiler proof soup bowls.  Fill with the soup and top with the French Bread with the grated Gruyere Cheese pressed into the bread (so it doesn't fall off at this point).  Gruyere is the cheese that the French traditionally use to make their French Onion soup, and also their fondue (along with Emmental, according to my 9th grade French teacher who made us memorize all the traditional French/Swiss Cheeses).  Actually, according to the Wikipedia entry linked to above, there is some controversy over whether Gruyere is actually of either French or Swiss origin.  Regardless,  this is the cheese that is required to make a traditional French Onion soup, not your run of the mill deli Swiss.

Heat your broiler to 400 F and put the broiler proof soup bowls or mini Dutch Oven in to allow the cheese topped bread rounds to broil, covering the soup.  Don't remove until the cheese is lightly browned to your liking.  Enjoy!



  1. It's amazing how many people I run across who don't know that Gruyere is the traditional cheese for this soup! I'm glad I found your blog.

    You can check mine out as well at fishnpickles.blogspot

  2. Your French onion soup looks excellent and so tempting on this cold & windy day!

  3. I've made a completely unskilled version of French onion soup off and on and it always turns out great--sweet caramelized onions plus beef broth is just an amazing combination.

  4. delicious. try serving it in a boot?


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