Authentic French Onion Soup Courtesy of Julia Child

READY IN: 2hrs


  • 5 -6
    cups yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs)
  • 1
    tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2
    tablespoons butter
  • 12
    teaspoon sugar
  • 1
    teaspoon salt
  • 3
    tablespoons flour
  • 6
    cups beef stock (preferably homemade)
  • 12
    cup wine (dry white wine or dry white vermouth)
  • salt and pepper
  • 12
    ounces swiss cheese, grated
  • 4
    ounces parmesan cheese, grated
  • one half raw yellow onion
  • 2 -3
    tablespoons cognac
  • 8
    slices French bread (about 1 inch thick)
  • 4
    tablespoons olive oil, for drizzling


  • Place heavy bottom stock pot or dutch over over medium-low heat.
  • Add 1 Tbs cooking oil, 2Tbs butter to pot.
  • Add sliced onions and stir until they are evenly coated with the oil.
  • Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until they are very tender and translucent.
  • To brown or caramelize the onions turn heat under pot to medium or medium high heat.
  • Add 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt and continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently until the onions have browned and reduced significantly.
  • Once caramelized, reduce heat to medium-low and add 3 Tbs flour to the onions.
  • Brown the flour for about 2-3 minutes trying not to scorch it. (If the flour does not form a thick paste, you can add a bit more butter here).
  • Stir in about 1 cup of warm stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up all of the cooked-on bits.
  • Add the rest of the stock, wine to the soup.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • To make the "croutes" (toasted bread), heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Drizzle each side of the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and place on baking sheet.
  • Cook the croutes for 15 minutes in oven on each side (30 minutes total).
  • Check the soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Transfer to a casserole dish.
  • At this point you can add the 2-3 Tbs cognac and grate the 1/2 raw onion into the soup.
  • Add a few ounces of the swiss cheese directly into the soup and stir.
  • Place the toasted bread in a single layer on top of the soup.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the cheese in a thick layer on top of the bread making sure to cover the edges of the toast to prevent burning.
  • Drizzle with a little oil or melted butter.
  • Place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
  • Turn on broiler and brown cheese well.
  • Let cool for a few minutes.
  • Bon Apetit!


@Anita de la Costa
“There are a lot of French Onion Soup recipes on Zaar, but I think that this very authentic version deserves a place on the list. After making many of the existing recipes with success, I wrote down this recipe while watching Julia Child in a very old episode of "The French Chef". It takes a little longer, but the time is very well spent. It is also more detailed than others and includes fool-proof instructions for properly browning onions as well as many extra add-ins. Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients. The sage, wine, raw onion, and cognac are optional, but they contribute a lot, so use what you have. The result is an out-of-this-world onion soup with an amazing depth of flavor. You can make this even days ahead of time and then add the toasted bread ("croutes" as Julia calls them) and cheese and bake it the day of. This can be made vegetarian by using a beefy-flavored veg broth such as Better than Bullion Beefless broth instead of beef stock. Try it and love it! Enjoy!”