Julia Child's Soupe a l'oignon Gratinee des Trois Gourmandes
FromMastering the Art of French Cooking
Hands on time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 2.5 hours
1 ½ lbs/680g yellow onions, thinly sliced (no tears if you use the food processor, slicing blade)
3 tbsp butter (I used unsalted)
1 tbsp oil (I used canola)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar (helps with browning)
3 tbsp all purpose flour
2 quarts beef stock (I used boxed beef broth – lazy me), boiling when added to soup
½ cup dry white wine
Salt & pepper to taste
3 tbsp cognac
Rounds of hard toasted French bread
1-2 cups coarsely grated Swiss or Parmesan Cheese (I used Swiss & Gruyere…I couldn’t help my Montreal roots)
For Trois Gourmandes version just before serving…
1 tsp cornstarch
1 egg yolk
1 tsp Worcestireshire sauce
3 tbsp cognac
1. Cook the onions slowly in butter and oil in a large, heavy bottom Dutch oven, covered for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
2. Uncover, raise heat to moderate and stir in salt and sugar. Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are an even, deep, golden brown. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 minutes.
3. Take the pot off the heat and blend in the boiling liquid. Add the wine and season to taste. Simmer, partially covered for 30-40 minutes. Correct seasoning.
If you are not serving right away, set aside.
4. Twenty minutes before serving, reheat soup to the simmer and add cognac or…for the full Trois Gourmandes version….
5. In a bowl, beat the cornstarch into the egg yolk, then Worcestershire sauce and cognac. Remove a ladleful of soup and add it to the mixture slowly with a fork. You don’t want to shock the egg yolk and curdle it. Add two more ladles of soup and blend. Pour this mixture back into the pot of soup and stir.
6. Preheat oven to 325°F/165°C and prepare individual oven proof soup bowls (Julia says you can do this in a large tureen…but not in my house!
7. Pour soup into each bowl, stir in some grated cheese (Julia adds a little grated raw onion, but I didn’t bother). Float a crisply toasted slice of French Bread (spread with a little butter, or not) on top of the soup (I like to cut the bread to fit the entire opening of the bowl) and add more grated cheese to completely cover it. Bake for 20 minutes and then under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown the top a bit. Serve immediately.