Daniel Catalaa

Onion Soup

Source: The recipe for this onion soup comes from the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck.



For 6 to 8 servings:

  • Onions, yellow, thinly sliced, 1½ lbs. or about 5 cups
  • Butter, 3 Tbs.
  • Olive oil, 1 Tbs.
  • Salt, 1 tsp.
  • Sugar, ¼ tsp.
  • Flour, 3 Tbs.
  • Chicken broth, boiling, 2 quarts
  • Wine, white, dry, ½ cup


The onions for an onion soup need a long, slow cooking in butter and oil, then a long, slow simmering in stock for them to develop the deep, rich flavor which characterizes a perfect brew. You should therefore count on 2½ hours at least from start to finish. Though the preliminary cooking in butter requires some watching, the actual simmering can proceed almost unattended. The original beef consomé was replaced with chicken broth for a lighter flavor.

  1. Sauté onions: Cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil in the covered saucepan for 15 minutes.
  2. Brown the onions: Uncover, raise heat to moderate, and stir in the salt and sugar (helps the onions to brown). Cook for 30 to 40 minutes stirring frequently until the onions have turned an even, deep, golden brown.
  3. Make a roux: Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 minutes.
  4. Add cooking liquid: Off heat, blend in the boiling liquid (chicken stock). Add the wine, and season to taste. Simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes or more, skimming occasionally. Correct seasoning.



Croûtes are hard-toasted French bread

  • French bread, hard-toasted 6 to 8 rounds
  • Cheese, Swiss or Parmesan, grated 1 to 2 cups
  • Parsley, chopped , for decoration 2 to 3 Tb
  • Olive oil as needed
  • Garlic 2 heads


  1. Toast bread: Place slices of bread in one layer on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 325°F oven for about half an hour, until it is thoroughly dried out and lightly browned.
  2. Season toast: Halfway through the baking, each side may be basted with a teaspoon of olive oil or beef drippings; and after baking, each piece may be rubbed with cut garlic.
  3. Layer on the cheese: Spread one side of each croûte with grated cheese and sprinkle with drops of olive oil.
  4. Make gratin: Brown under a hot broiler before serving.
  5. Float onto soup: Fill soup bowls 2/3 of the way then float on top the croûtes which are by now covered with melted cheese. .