French Onion Soup Gratine

If the winter chill is getting to you, here’s a great way to warm up.  The history of Onion Soup can be traced back to the Roman Empire. Onion soup was served to Roman slaves.  Onion soup has historically been considered poor people’s food because onions were easy to grow and so plentiful throughout the Roman Empire. The modern version comes from 17th century Paris adding veal broth, cheese and carmelizing the onions and cooking in bowls in the oven.  Onion soup had a resurgence in the 1960’s and 70′s with plethora of cooking shows on American television.

Here is a delicious recipe French Onion Soup Gratine that will not only delight your guests but please even the palates of 17th century Parisian Chefs.

French Onion Soup Gratine
Serves 6 to 8

8 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups beef stock
1/4 cup dry Sauterne (or dry white wine)
1 1/2 tbsp. Brandy
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
6 to 8 well toasted white bread slices
sliced Gruyere Cheese
chives optional


In a covered saucepan, over medium low heat, slowly cook onions in butter and oil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid. Add salt and sugar and continue cooking, stirring often, for 1 or 1 ½ hours until onions are golden. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. In a separate saucepan, bring chicken and beef stock to a boil. Add onion mixture and Sauterne or dry white wine. Bring back to gentle boil, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Just before serving, add brandy, salt and pepper. Fill individual bowls or ramequins nearly to the top and place a slice of bread on top. Arrange 1 to 3 slices of cheese on bread, covering top of bowl or ramequin completely. Broil until cheese is melted, brown, and crusty.  Garnish with chopped chives if desired.

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