French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Known for its 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week service, Au Pied de Cochon is an iconic location for savoring traditional Gallic food. Our take on the eatery’s French Onion Soup, the dish that Julia Child often ordered, features hearty, aromatic broth brimming with mild yellow onion and bits of garlic. Crisp Gruyère crostini add the final grace note to each simmering crock of comfort.

French Onion Soup
Makes 6 servings
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 pounds yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced (approximately 9 cups)
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 8 cups homemade or high-quality beef stock*
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cognac, optional
  • 12 (¾-inch-thick) baguette slices
  • 1¼ cups shredded Gruyère cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a Dutch oven, heat butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and liquid has begun to evaporate, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, and sugar; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is deep golden brown, 45 to 55 minutes. (If onion begins to stick, stir in 1 tablespoon water.)
  2. Stir garlic into onions; cook 1 minute more. Stir in flour until blended; cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes (do not let burn). Gradually stir in wine, stock, bay leaf, and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until flavors are blended, about 30 minutes. Remove soup from heat; stir in cognac, if desired. Return pot to heat; keep warm over low heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  4. Brush both sides baguette slices with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; place on prepared pan.
  5. Bake until bottoms are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Turn over bread; bake until crisp and bottoms are golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Remove from oven.
  6. Increase oven setting to broil. Top crostini with Gruyère, packing slightly; sprinkle with Parmesan. Broil 4 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbly, 1½ to 2 minutes.
  7. To serve, remove bay leaf from soup, and ladle soup into serving bowls. Place two crostini in each bowl. Serve immediately.
*We used Knorr Homestyle Beef Stock, a concentrated stock sold in the soup aisle, adding 2 tubs and 8 cups water directly to the Dutch oven.

To explore more iconic sites, see “Julia Child: Following in Her Footsteps” on page 57 of the May/June 2019 issue, available on newsstands and at

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