This classic French Onion Soup is absolutely delicious and based on Julia Child’s recipe!
Several years ago when I was in Paris, I visited a million bistros but never had any French Onion Soup, can you believe that? My dear friend and I strolled the streets and visited bistros for the vino…we people-watched and drank wine. And we had a blast! So, when making this recipe, I tried to find out if bistros in Paris really serve French Onion Soup, and they do! Here are some places to try French Onion Soup when in Paris.
What Type of Onions Should I Use?
Traditionally, yellow onions are used for French Onion Soup, however, you can use white onions as a substitute. I have made the mistake of using Sweet yellow onions, and it didn’t turn out so…buy plain yellow onions!
Allow yourself about 30 minutes to cook the onions. You want them nice and caramelized.
Do I Need to Make Broth Stock from Scratch?
In a perfect world, yes, but no one hardly has time to make a beef stock from scratch, so go ahead and use a canned beef stock for this classic onion soup recipe. When choosing a beef stock, make sure there’s no high fructose corn syrup, added colorants, or other random stuff. Most quality stocks/broths have about six ingredients….
What Kind of Cheese Goes on French Onion Soup?
Julia’s recipe calls for Swiss cheese. Other recipes call for Gruyere, or Comte. Swiss and Gruyere are both from Switzerland. Comte, is from the Comte region of Eastern France.
They are all three similar in flavor, but Gruyere has a bit of a nuttier flavor to it and it’s also expensive. Comte is expensive, too, and hard to find. Don’t sweat the small stuff, use Swiss.
You will want to note that any of these three cheeses will yield an oily finish on top of the soup, so be prepared to use a paper towel to dab up excess oil after broiling the cheese.
What Kind of Bread Should I Use?
I love a French Onion Soup that has bite size bread in the beefy onion broth. A toasted slice of French bread is usually the norm, however, if you want you can purchase pre-baked Crostini rounds at your local grocer. I don’t recommend getting a flavored Crostini because it will detract from the flavor of the soup.
You might want to try the Shrimp and Crab Beggar’s Purse to accompany your French onion soup!
French Onion Soup
- 5-6 large yellow onions sliced very thin
- 1 stick butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 64 oz. beef broth
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sage , ground
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 12 oz. Swiss, Gruyere, or Comte cheese shredded
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 loaf French bread sliced
- salt & pepper to taste
Make the Soup
- Thinly slice onions; set aside
- Melt 1 stick of butter and oil in a large stock pot on medium heat
- Add sliced onions and sugar to melted butter and allow to cook on medium low until onions are brown
- Once onions are browned, add flour and beef stock; combine well
- Add wine, sage and bay leaf; bring to boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium low and cover
Make the Bread Topping
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Slice French Bread into 1/4 inch pieces
- Lightly coat bread slices with olive oil and place on oiled baking sheet
- Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 15 minutes; then turn bread slices and bake another 15 minutes, or until golden brown
- Remove from oven and set aside
- Turn oven temperature to broil; remove bay leaf from soup
- Ladle onion soup 2/3 of the way into oven-safe ramekins; ; add toasted French bread; top with shredded cheese
- Place ramekins on baking sheet and place under broiler until cheese is nicely browned
- Remove baking sheet from oven; using a paper towel, dip the ends of the paper towel onto the residual oil from the baked cheese
- Ramekins will be extremely hot; allow to sit for about 8 minutes prior to serving