Cooking with Alison

Julia Child’s French Onion Soup

In Soups and Salads on January 22, 2010 at pm

People are always surprised when I tell them that I don’t like or collect cookbooks.  I much prefer to use the internet because I always research a dish and compare several different recipes before I try making it.  My issues with cookbooks are: they can be costly, they take up space, I’m unlikely to want to try every single recipe, and I don’t trust that all of the recipes will be great.  I’d love to hear from you if you don’t like or collect cookbooks either!  🙂 I do have one exception though.  For my birthday in 2009, a very good friend of mine gave me Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking Volumes 1 and 2.  I Love these books because Julia Child is the only chef that I trust completely.  I can’t wait to make my way through it.  The first recipe that I tried was Julia Child’s classic onion soup.

Classic Onion Soup

by Julia Child from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
makes 6 – 8 servings

3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
5 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar (to help carmelize the onions)
3 Tablespoons flour
8 cups beef stock, at a boil
1/2 cup dry white wine (like extra dry vermouth)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons cognac (*Note: I didn’t use this and I didn’t feel like my soup was missing anything*)
Garnish: 6-8 croutes of hard toasted French bread rounds; 1-2 cups grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese (*Note:  I used gruyere instead*) (I use a Microplane coarse grater)

Melt the butter and oil over low heat in a heavy soup pot. Stir in the onions, cover, and sweat until they are tender; this will take about 15 to 25 minutes.  Remove the cover, increase heat to medium, and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook 30-40 minutes, stirring often, until the onions have turned an even, very deep, golden brown. Sprinkle in the flour; cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes.

Off the heat, whisk in the boiling stock. Add the wine. Season to taste. Place the pot back on the heat, bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer, partially covered, for 40-60 minutes or more, skim foam from surface as it appears.  Taste and correct seasonings. At this point you may set it aside, uncovered, until you are ready to serve.

When ready to serve, with the soup at a simmer, stir in the cognac.  Place a piece of toasted (sturdy) bread on hot soup (in individual oven proof bowls), sprinkle generously with grated cheese and place under broiler until melted and bubbly.

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  1. I looked everywhere to see I’d both her recipes called for the same method.
    I do not have mastering the art of french cooking.I have the way to cook.

    Her book with J.Pepa is slightly different.

    Since it is 92° out and I decided to make a quadruple batch I wanted to be sure. She does not sat to remove lid when you begin to carmalize but I figured you would have to to be string as much as you do.

    You can imagine how long this is going to take to reduce but I’m up for the task. I made this when I was in my 20’a and am now 60.

    It was so fabulous back then I can’t say why I have not made it again.

    But I am on a special diet for my tummy (plant pardon by Steven Grundy, MD) and this soup is allowable if you tweet it a tiny bit.

    I feel so wonderful on this eating plan, haven’t had a gut/bowel issue since the 2nd day I started the plan.

    Since I’m pretty tiny I can’t eat as much as the plan suggests so I have made tons of different soups and this is the last before I begin the canning process.

    Just wanted to be sure the ING and the method were the same. Thank you.

    Oh ps. In 8 weeks I have gone from 126 to 107!

    That is just a side bonus by cutting out the plant protein “lectin” from my diet!

    I’m into one hour of reduction and haven’t begun to get color in the onions.

    4x the recipe is a lot of onions to reduce!

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