Onion Soup Gratiné

Recipe excerpted from 'Soup Nights: Satisfying Soups and Sides for Delicious Meals All Year' by Betty Rosbottom
Harry Zernike

Harry Zernike 

The ultimate cold weather dish—soupe à l’oignon gratinée—was the pièce de résistance of a popular winter cooking class called “Midnight in Paris” that I taught several years ago. This recipe is based loosely on the first onion soup I ever made from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I. The main difference is that I suggest using a quick short-cut beef stock instead of Julia’s homemade stock.

This is a soup where the quality of ingredients used for the topping matters. An aged Gruyère and slices of a good crusty baguette will add immeasurably to the dish’s success. One last tip direct from Julia: She suggests stirring some small strips of Gruyère into the soup before adding the toasted bread slices. Those little strips melt as the soup simmers in the oven, melding beautifully into the onion broth.

Recipe excerpted from Soup Nights: Satisfying Soups and Sides for Delicious Meals All Year by Betty Rosbottom, Rizzoli New York, 2016. Click here to purchase your own copy.

6
Servings
568
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

For the Soup

  • Quarts beef stock
  • 4  Tablespoons  unsalted butter
  • 2  Tablespoons  vegetable oil
  • 3  Pounds  yellow onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick, to yield 10 cups
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4  Teaspoon  sugar, plus more if needed
  • 1/4  Cup  all-purpose flour
  • 3/4  Cups  dry white wine
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Toasted Baguette Slices and Cheese Topping

  • 18  baguette slices, cut about 3/8-inch thick
  • 3-4  Tablespoons  olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 12  Ounces  piece good quality aged Gruyère grated to yield 1 1/2 cups and the remainder cut into slivers 1/4-inch by 1-inch long to yield 1/2 cup

Directions

For the Soup

In a 5-quart heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-low heat, heat the butter and oil. When hot, add the onions. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, 15 minutes.

Remove the lid and raise the heat to medium. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, the sugar, and the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom of the pan so that the flour does not burn, until the onions are rich golden (like the color of light brown sugar), 35 to 40 minutes or more. (While you are cooking the onions, the flour will start to darken too and the onions will cook down considerably. That’s okay.)

When the onions are done, add the simmering stock and 1/2 cup of the wine. Season the soup with salt and pepper, and a pinch or two of extra sugar if desired. Simmer, partially covered with the lid set ajar, 40 minutes more. With a large spoon, skim off any foam that forms. Add the remaining 1/4 cup wine and season the soup again with salt and pepper. (Soup can be prepared three days ahead. Cook to this stage, then cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat.)

While the soup is simmering, prepare the baguette slices and the cheese topping. Arrange a rack at center position of the oven and preheat to 350°F.

For the Toasted Baguette Slices and Cheese Topping

Brush the baguette slices generously on both sides with olive oil and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until slices are crisp, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove and cool. (Baguette slices can be prepared two days ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature.) Retain oven temperature.

Arrange 6 ovenproof soup bowls or ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and fill them 3/4 full with the hot soup. Divide the slivered cheese among the bowls. Float 2 to 3 baguette slices on top of each serving, and sprinkle generously with some grated cheese. Depending on the size of your bowls or ramekins, you may have some soup, cheese, or croutons left over.

Bake the soups until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned, 15 minutes. Watch constantly. If desired, run under a hot broiler to brown more, 1 to 2 minutes.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
35g
50%
Sugar
14g
16%
Saturated Fat
5g
21%
Carbohydrate, by difference
59g
45%
Protein
5g
11%
Vitamin A, RAE
7µg
1%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
6mg
8%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
49µg
54%
Calcium, Ca
67mg
7%
Choline, total
16mg
4%
Fiber, total dietary
6g
24%
Folate, total
46µg
12%
Iron, Fe
3mg
17%
Magnesium, Mg
28mg
9%
Niacin
2mg
14%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
101mg
14%
Selenium, Se
3µg
5%
Sodium, Na
222mg
15%
Water
233g
9%
Zinc, Zn
1mg
13%