Chef John Folse: Julia Child's French Onion Soup

Chef John Folse: Julia Child's French Onion Soup

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - This classic soup was traditionally a hangover remedy sold in all-night cafés in Paris. It was thought that the rich beef broth flavored with sautéed onions and topped with a hearty crouton would revive revelers in the early hours of the morning following a night of indulgence. Chef John Folse recreates this dish in honor of Julia Child's 105th birthday! Child is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Prep Time: 2 Hours

Yields: 6–8 Servings


6 cup thinly sliced yellow onions

½ yellow onion, peeled and trimmed

2 tbsps butter

5 tbsps olive oil, divided

½ tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

3 tbsps flour

6 cups hot beef stock, divided

1 cup white wine

1 bay leaf

½ tsp ground sage

8 slices French bread

salt and black pepper to taste

2–3 tbsps Cognac, optional

12 ounces grated Swiss cheese, divided

4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsps melted butter


Preheat oven to 325°F. In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced onions and stir to coat evenly. Cover pot and cook 20 minutes, stirring often to prevent onions from burning. When done, onions should be translucent and tender. Increase heat to medium-high then add sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Continue cooking, uncovered, until onions are caramelized, stirring often. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2–3 minutes or until a white roux forms. Add 1 cup beef stock and stir continuously to mix. Add remaining stock, wine, bay leaf and sage. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. While soup is cooking, drizzle both sides of French bread with 2 tablespoons olive oil then place on a baking sheet. Bake bread 15 minutes on each side, turning once. Remove and set aside. Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Adjust soup seasonings to taste with salt and pepper. Remove and discard bay leaf. Transfer soup mixture to a casserole dish. Drizzle in Cognac then grate raw onion into soup. Mix in 4 ounces Swiss cheese then cover soup mixture with toasted bread in a single layer. Sprinkle remaining Swiss cheese and Parmesan cheese evenly over bread in a thick layer, making sure to cover edges of toast to prevent burning. Drizzle with melted butter and remaining olive oil. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove mixture and heat oven on broiler setting. Place mixture under broiler until bread is toasted and cheese is browned.

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