Not long ago my husband told me he was craving French onion soup. I told him I would love to make it for him, but I didn’t have the bowls. Two days later, a box of oven-safe ceramic French onion soup bowls arrived on my doorstep. I guess he really wanted that soup! A quick search of my Pinterest boards turned up a couple of French Onion Soup recipes. I have pinned some delicious-sounding recipes, but one stood out from the rest: Julia Child’s French Onion Soup. She famously made French cooking accessible, and I remember watching her on TV when I was young. She was so fun! So what better recipe for my first foray into making this classic dish?
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. French onion soup is rustic comfort food at its finest.
This recipe prints out on two pages, and the list of ingredients takes up almost the whole first page. I didn’t let it phase me, and I wasn’t surprised at all.
A little digging through my pantry told me I had some of the basics like olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, and flour. I even had butter in my refrigerator.
That left me with a good amount of things to buy, but I was able to find most of it at my regular grocery store. I was surprised that the cheeses in the recipe were parmesan and Swiss. I was expecting gruyere, and my husband thought it would be provolone 🤷🏻♀️
A quick stop at the liquor store for a small bottle of cognac wrapped up my shopping trip. That was also an unexpected ingredient, but I went with it. Julia Child can’t be wrong!
I chose a mix of sweet onions and standard yellow onions. I sliced the sweet onions and grated half of the yellow onion. It’s not specified in the instructions, but somewhere in my brain, I remembered sweet onions are best for French onion soup.
The recipe does say that homemade beef stock is preferable to use as the soup’s base. I stopped at a small market and they only had one type of beef-flavored stock. It was very basic, but I looked at it as a challenge. If this recipe was good with something so simple, it would be amazing with a gourmet store-bought or homemade stock.
The recipe lists a total time of 2 hours, and I wasn’t far from that at a total of 1 hour 50 minutes. I didn’t separate my prep time from cooking because I prepped while I cooked.
Things started off with slicing the sweet onions. I used 3 good-sized onions and sliced them thin with my mandoline. Then it was into a cast-iron Dutch oven to soften for 20 minutes. This took me about 3 minutes total.
While the onions were cooking, I finished most of my prep work by measuring out the ingredients and grating the yellow onion. The only thing I couldn’t finish within that time was grating all the cheese. However, I was able to finish it as things progressed thanks to the grating plate in my mandoline and a lot of elbow grease. Next time, I’m going to buy the cheese already grated!
This recipe was a perfect roadmap to French onion soup! Everything went according to the instructions, and I didn’t have a single hiccup.
I did change things up at Step 8. In my excitement finding this recipe, I didn’t notice that it calls for the soup to be finished in a casserole dish. I simply had to use the new bowls my husband so thoughtfully ordered for me!
The soup was divided perfectly into four bowls along with the toasted bread and cheese. I placed the bowls onto baking sheets and popped them into the oven to finish up. But I was so excited that I forgot to turn the broiler on to brown the cheese, but I don’t think anyone noticed. I didn’t until I started writing this post LOL!