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Julia Child’s French Onion Soup

You will not find a French Onion Soup recipe more authentic than this fantastic French Onion Soup recipe that I sat handwriting as I watched the cooking show Julia Child starred in called The French Chef on my computer in black and white.

I sat slightly anxious through her discussion over knives, the best sizes to use, how to properly slice with them, sharpen, and clean them. I was more interested in seeing her make her signature French Onion soup. Patience sometimes isn’t a virtue with me.

 

You can not get an Onion Soup recipe more authentic than this fantastic French Onion Soup that I sat handwriting as I watched the cooking show Julia Child starred in called The French Chef on my computer in black and white.I have to tell you when she finally started the process of chopping onions. I realized how down to earth she was as she shared her chopping techniques, and suddenly my anxiety dissipated as I relaxed to her calming voice. I almost felt soothed as I listened to the fast chopping of her knife slicing through several onions.

Finally, my excitement began to build as she started discussing how to make her famous Onion soup. I was so inspired by this episode of The French Cook I immediately got out my scratchpad and proceded to write her recipe and methods down to share with all of you.

 

“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.”-Julia Childs

 

 

You can not get an Onion Soup recipe more authentic than this fantastic French Onion Soup that I sat handwriting as I watched the cooking show Julia Child starred in called The French Chef on my computer in black and white.There are pieces of cooking equipment you will need to get started with the french onion soup recipe. Gather everything you need to make life a little easier. If you do not have a Dutch oven on hand, try to use a more substantial bottomed pot. The rest of the items are usually standard in a family kitchen.

 

 

Equipment needed 

  • A very sharp Chefs knife
  • Cutting board
  • Heavy bottom pot or Dutch Oven
  • Cooking utensils
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Cheese grater
  • Baking sheet
  • Soup Crocks
  • Broiler

 

 

 

Ingredient List for Julia’s Onion Soup

  • Six cups fresh onions sliced
  • One raw onion – grated
  • One tablespoon olive oil
  • Two tablespoons real unsalted butter
  • One teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Three tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Six cups Homemade beef stock or high-quality organic beef stock
  • One cup of red or white wine -she used California Mountain red wine and added a little more
  • One bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered sage
  • Toasted crusted french bread- sliced into begets
  • Kosher salt to own taste- to season
  • Black pepper to taste- to season
  • Three tablespoons cognac
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 ounces grated Swiss cheese
  • 6-8 ounces grated parmesan cheese

 

 

 

 

You can not get an Onion Soup recipe more authentic than this fantastic French Onion Soup that I sat handwriting as I watched the cooking show Julia Child starred in called The French Chef on my computer in black and white.

 

 

 

 

Tips for Julia Child’s French Onion Soup

  1. Use yellow or stronger onions versus sweet onions in the soup.
  2. Use a very sharp chef’s knife to slice the onions.
  3. Do not skip any steps in the recipe; they are all essential.
  4. Be sure to use real unsalted butter, quality olive oil, and salt for cooking the onions in a covered heavy-bottomed pot until they are translucent. This will take a fair amount of time on a lower heating setting — about 25 minutes in a heavy-bottomed pan. The onions will drastically reduce. Do not be concerned.
  5. To carmelize the onions increase the heat to medium-high heat or as Julia says Moderately high heat, you may need to add one tablespoon of butter to the onions and one teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Stir them fairly frequently and stay near them to watch. They do not scorch or burn. This will take a decent amount of time. Be patient and continue frequently stirring until they have brown properly. This should take 25-35 minutes.
  6. Julia recommends using only homemade beef stock, but if you do not have any on hand, you can substitute it with a good quality beef stock from the market.
  7. On the French Chef, Julia used a California Red wine in her French Onion Soup recipe but suggested you can also use white wine. Be sure to invest in quality wine that you would drink. It does not have to be super expensive but does need to be quality. Do not use cooking wine.
  8. Julia recommends letting the soup simmer until the wine cooks off about 30 minutes.
  9. Be sure to season the soup properly and taste the soup to see if it needs further seasoned.
  10. Crusty French bread is used in this recipe for Onion SoupJulia Child brushes olive oil on each side before baking it about 15 minutes on each side in a 325-degree oven.
  11. Julia grates one onion to add to the French onion soup to add body and texture to the soup. At this time, she adds the three tablespoons of Cognac into the soup.
  12. The soup is ladled into Soup Crocks, and then a small layer of grated Swiss cheese is added
  13. Add the grated Swiss to the soup before adding the toasted French bread 1-inch slices, then add the toasted French Bread slices, next layer freshly grated or quality grated parmesan cheese in a manner that completely covers the toasted bread, so it does not burn. Do not use the sprinkle cheese parmesan; it is not the same as freshly grated.
  14. Use a metal baking sheet to place the Soup rocks on before placing it in the oven.
  15. Julia drizzles a bit of oil on the top of the cheese to help brown the cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

5 from 24 votes
You can not get an Onion Soup recipe more authentic than this fantastic French Onion Soup that I sat handwriting as I watched the cooking show Julia Child starred in called The French Chef on my computer in black and white.
Julia Child's French Onion Soup
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 53 mins
Cool before serving
5 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 28 mins
 

You will not find a French Onion Soup recipe more authentic than this fantastic French Onion Soup made by Julia Child on The French Chef



Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: Authentic French Onion Soup, Julia Child's French Onion Soup
Servings: 6 People
Author: hmccallum
Ingredients
  • 6 cups Yellow onions sliced
  • 1 Yellow onion grated- added towards the end
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups homemade beef stock or quality store-bought stock
  • 1 cup Red or white table wine She used California Mountain Red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon powdered sage
  • Kosher salt to own taste
  • Black pepper to own taste
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac
  • 1 loaf French Bread sliced 1 inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons *Extra* olive oil to brush the French bread and drizzle over soup
  • 4 ounces freshly grated swiss cheese
  • 8 ounces grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and olive oil in a heavy bottom pan, then add sliced onions stirring occasionally - cook about 20-25 minutes over low-to-medium Heat until tender and translucent. Do not skip this step. When done cooking, the onions should have reduced drastically.

  2. Raise the heat to moderate high Heat, adding about 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar and add one teaspoon of salt. Stir frequently- cook for about 25-35 minutes careful not to scorch or burn the onions--stir-stir--stir. The onions should have reduced again drastically.

  3. After the onions have been browned-carmelized- add 3 tablespoons of flour to give the soup body and thicken properly. Cook the onions over moderate heat, adding about one tablespoon butter to make a paste- cook on moderate heat for about 3 minutes to cook the raw taste off the flour and brown it lightly.

  4. Add the homemade beef stock- putting one cup of homemade stock first to release the browned bits in the pan--stir--then add the rest of the beef stock, one bay leaf, and sage. Bring the broth to a good simmer.

  5. Next, add the red wine to the simmering beef stock and reduce the heat to low cook 30 minutes cook very slowly to cook the wine out.

  6. Slice the crusty french bread one inch thick and place on a baking sheet, coat with a little olive oil and bake on 325 degrees for about 10-15 minutes on each side.

  7. After the onion soup has been simmering about 30 minutes, add three tablespoons cognac, and one raw grated onion to the soup to lift the texture a little.

  8. Ladle the French Onion Soup into oven-safe crocks. Add some of the swiss cheese directly into the soup and stir. Then place the toasted French bread in a layer on top of the soup. Add the parmesan cheese to the top of the soup making a thick layer on top of the french bread, making sure to cover the edges of the toast to prevent burning. Drizzle with a little oil or melted butter.

  9. Place the crocks of French Onion Soup in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 25-30 minutes.

  10. If desired place the crock under the broiler and broil tops of soup to brown the cheese further.

 

 

You can not get an Onion Soup recipe more authentic than this fantastic French Onion Soup that I sat handwriting as I watched the cooking show Julia Child starred in called The French Chef on my computer in black and white.

 

 

 

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31 Comments

  • Reply
    Robin
    September 20, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    JUST WOW!! First time I’ve commented on a recipe. This French onion soup was absolutely amazing. So full of flavor and depth. Exactly what I was craving.

  • Reply
    Gunjan
    August 23, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    This recipe for Julia Child’s French Onion Soup was an excellent and delicious recipe. I am very fond of onion soup and this totally satisfied my tummy.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      August 25, 2020 at 7:57 am

      That’s so awesome to hear Gunjan!

  • Reply
    Chandice Probst
    August 23, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Oh my goodness who doesn’t love French onion soup?! This one was so flavorful and the perfect way to use all those summer onions!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      August 25, 2020 at 7:56 am

      I agree Chandice! It’s so yummy when made correctly. Thanks for dropping by to share your thoughts.

  • Reply
    Paula Montenegro
    August 22, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    An unbeatable recipe, thank you for bringing it back! I can’t wait to make it again, it’s winter here and this is the perfect recipe.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      August 25, 2020 at 7:55 am

      Thank you so much, Paula! I am so thrilled you like the recipe.

  • Reply
    Jacqueline Debono
    August 22, 2020 at 9:41 am

    This post so reminded me of the film Julia & Julia. Whenever I hear Julia Childs, I always think of Meryl Streep’s Julia! I’ve never tried her onion soup but it looks really good!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      August 25, 2020 at 7:54 am

      Ha Ha Jacqueline, that made me smile this morning.

  • Reply
    Kushigalu
    August 22, 2020 at 5:30 am

    French onion soup is my family’s favorite. This Julia Child’s French Onion Soup is one great recipe. Mouthwatering.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      August 25, 2020 at 7:53 am

      Thank you, Kushi! Have a fab day!

  • Reply
    Jenn
    August 20, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    This Julia Child’s French Onion Soup was amazing – definitely going to add to my winter rotation (especially when it gets below 70 here and my Florida-self can’t handle it haha).

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      August 25, 2020 at 7:53 am

      Good morning Jenn, I can appreciate that. I reside in Florida also, and it’s just super muggy and yuck weather. I am waiting for the end of October when we get a cooldown.

  • Reply
    Kathryn Donangelo
    August 20, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Julia Child’s French Onion Soup recipe was delicious!!! I can not wait to make this again, this is one of my favorites!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      August 25, 2020 at 7:51 am

      Her recipe is just so on point! I love her food, Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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