The recipe for this delicious French onion soup is from Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking. Julias instructions are easy to follow and this soup is even for beginners. I cooked this soup after her recipe and it was abolutely the best French onion soup I ever had.
Juli begins with a short introduction:
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 2 1/2 hours at least from start to finish. Though the preliminary cooking in butter requires some watching, the actual simmering can proceed almost unattended.
1 1/2 lbs. or about 5 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions
3 T butter
1 T vegetable oil
A heavy-bottomed, 4 quart covered saucepan
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
3 T flour
2 quarts boiling brown stock, canned beef bouillon, or 1 quart of boiling water and 1 quart of stock or bouillon.
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
Salt and pepper to taste
3 T cognac
Rounds of hard-toasted French bread (see recipe following)
1 to 2 cups grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese
Croutes – Hard toasted French Bread
12 to 16 slices of French bread, cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick
Olive oil or beef drippings
A cut clove of garlic
How to make the Soup
Cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil in a covered saucepan for 15 minutes.
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. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 minutes.
Off heat, blend in the boiling liquid. Add the wine and season to taste. Simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes or more, skimming occasionally. Correct seasoning.
Set aside uncovered until ready to serve. Then reheat to the simmer.
Just before serving, stir in the cognac. Pour into a soup tureen or soup cups over the rounds of bread and pass the cheese separately.
How to make the Croutes
Place the bread in one layer in a roasting pan and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for about half an hour, until it is thoroughly dried out and lightly browned.
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.
Never use sweet onions
Brown the onions slowly, don’t hurry.
Use brandy instead of cognac.
Dry white wine is a Sauvignon Blamc or Chardonnay. Don’t use cooking wine.
For the beef stock use organic beef instant cubes if you cannot make it from scratch.
Don’t use too much garlic, there should be a hint only if at all.
You can also use Swiss cheese or a mix of Swiss and Parmesan.