How good can Onion soup really be? Well, actually pretty amazing. Julia Child’s french onion soup is unreal and is one of our favorite winter warmers. Thick and savory onion soup, topped with a layer of crunchy garlic bread and cheese that turns soft and slightly sweet as it cooks? Sounds like heaven. Here’s how to make our homemade Julia Child French Onion soup recipe.
How to Make Julia Child French Onion Soup
Ok, full disclosure. Considering that soup is an easy dish to make, there are quite a few steps to this recipe. However, let us assure you that the end result is well worth it!
We start by sautéing heaps of onions until golden, soft, and sweet. Don’t worry if the volume of onions looks really large. They reduce down significantly once they begin to cook. You really want to bring out the sweetness in those onions, so for that reason, we add a little butter along with sugar. This helps them caramelize nicely.
Once this is done, we add some more butter and a little flour to make a sort of thick roux paste. This is vital as it will ensure that your soup thickens properly later on. We then combine this delicious mix with a lot of beef stock and a little wine before letting it turn thick and bubbly.
While the soup is bubbling, we make the croutons, drizzle bread with olive oil, and bake until golden brown. We then arrange the bread in a single layer over our soup before topping with layers of cheese and then whacking it in the oven to cook, melt and mingle.
If you want to make it properly French, be sure to add just a splash of cognac, too, for a slightly deeper taste.
We use parmesan and Swiss cheese in our recipe, but you can try out other types of cheeses for different tastes (see our hints and tips below).
Tips & Tricks
- The salt added at the beginning of the recipe is actually a crucial step. When added to onions, it makes them release moisture sooner, speeding up the cooking process
- If you don’t have beef stock, both vegetable and chicken stock will work just as well.
- If you don’t have cognac, don’t worry too much, this is an optional extra. We’ve used a dash of Worcestershire sauce before as an alternative, and it tasted just as great.
- Ideally, you will need to cook this recipe in a Dutch oven. However, any heavy casserole dish can work well too. Start by cooking the liquid element of the dish in a saucepan and then transfer it to the casserole dish before baking.
- French bread is authentic, but you can use just about any bread you have to hand. It doesn’t matter if the bread is slightly stale either. It just makes for crispier croutons.
- While I recommend white onions for this recipe, any onions will do the trick. Red onions add a slightly milder and sweeter taste. You might also want to throw in a few cloves of garlic if you want to make it taste really savory.
- You can experiment with a few different kinds of cheese. It doesn’t have to be swiss cheese (although the authentic Julia Child French onion soup recipe recommends it). We’ve tried cheddar, Emmental, and even spicy Mexicana, all with good results.
- If your soup is too thick, don’t add more flour. Instead, continue to cook it down for a few more minutes until it reaches the desired consistency. And, remember, the croutons are going to soak up a lot of liquid, so don’t worry if your soup is a little ‘thin.’
See Also: Lipton Onion Soup Meatloaf
While there are a few ingredients and quite a few steps, our authentic Julia Child French Onion soup recipe is super (pun intended) easy if you are organized and plan your time. The croutons and the cheese make it really filling, and you can even freeze portions for a later date. Have you given this a go? Let us know in the comments.