Looking for a rich and hearty soup to warm you on a cold, rainy night? Julia Child’s French onion soup is everything you need and more.
Sweet caramelized onions swimming in a rich beef broth topped with toasted bread and melty cheeses: French onion soup is rustic comfort food at its finest.
One spoonful of this soup is guaranteed to tickle your tastebuds and warm your heart.
There is nothing like the flavor and texture combinations of caramelized onions, French bread, cheese, and beef to soothe your soul. Simply put, it’s perfection in a bowl.
The best part? French onion soup calls for the most basic and affordable pantry ingredients. So yes, you can definitely make this at home.
Julia Child’s French Onion Soup Recipe
French onion soup is a thin soup made with caramelized onions, beef broth, and wine, and topped with bread and cheese. It originated in – surprise – France; and dates back all the way to the 18th century.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear French onion soup, I think super fancy and elegant. But it actually started as a peasant soup made with onions and stale bread!
The more sophisticated soup we know and love is just a modernized version.
When it comes to French onion soup, there is no better person to turn to than the great Julia Child. I think it’s safe to say that her recipe is the most classic and authentic one you can find out there!
The key to the best French onion soup is to caramelize the onions, and this takes at least 40 minutes. You must be patient, but don’t worry, the result is worth the wait.
Ingredients for French Onion Soup
The great thing about French onion soup is that it only calls for basic ingredients. In fact, I’m sure you’ll find all of these readily available in your kitchen!
- Onions. Classic French onion soup calls for yellow onions, but you can also use white or red.
- Butter. It’s a crucial ingredient to caramelize the onions. You can use olive oil, but nothing beats the richness of butter.
- Flour. Going hand in hand with butter, flour forms a roux that thickens the soup.
- White wine. It comes in handy when your onions are burning at the bottom of the pan. Pouring in a few spoonfuls of wine will deglaze the pan, helping you scrape out the burned onion bits.
- Beef Stock. It’s the flavor base of the soup. Classic French onion soup calls for beef, but you can also experiment with chicken or veggie.
- French Bread. It’s the iconic soup topping. Any French bread will do, but a crusty baguette is highly recommended.
- Cheeses. The only way to top your French bread. This recipe calls for Swiss and Parmesan, but you can also use whatever mild and melty cheeses you want. Gruyere, asiago, gouda, brie, Havarti, blue, and mozzarella are all fantastic options.
Tips for Flavorful Onion Soup
- The flavor of this soup lies in the broth, so high-quality beef stock is key. Use homemade beef stock as much as possible. If you don’t have it on hand, get one from the butcher.
- Canned beef stock should be your last option. Taste it first before going for it!
- The onions are the highlight of the soup, so you’ll want to make that extra effort of caramelizing them properly. Don’t settle for shortcuts and strictly adhere to the process.
- You also want to simmer the broth for at least 30 minutes. Do not skip this step! It is crucial to get that deeper, richer, beefy flavor.
Can this dish be made in advance?
You can store the soup in the fridge, sans the bread and cheese, and it will keep well for up to 3 days.
If you want it to last much longer, you can freeze the soup for up to 3 months.
You can prepare the bread ahead of time, place it in an airtight container, and store at room temperature. Toasted bread will keep well for up to 3 days.
What to serve with French Onion Soup
French onion soup works as a stand-alone meal, but you also can’t go wrong with adding meat to your dinner. Any meaty dish, such as roasted pork tenderloin, grilled chicken, or steak, are all excellent options.
Since the soup is super rich and hearty, you can balance it out with something light, such as a crisp salad or oven-roasted veggies.
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