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French Onion Soup with Cheese Gratin

I am a soup person. I love soups. I will order soup as a side in restaurants even though it is scorching hot outside. Be it cream, clear, bisque or consomme. You have it, I get it. However, I didn't quite understand why the 'French' like tonnes of onions in their soup? What is so unique about French Onion Soup? Just onions for soup? Is it possible for onions to stand out on its own. Well, I have to convince myself.

Recently I was at a French restaurant along Duxton and they only had French onion soup for their lunch menu. Well, I thought it was time to give onions a chance. So I did. Wow! The caramelized onions provided a layered and complex depth to the taste. The gruyere cheese and toasted bread enhanced the texture and taste to a humble soup. onions surprised me.

For the next few days, I was thinking about it and flipped Julia Child's cookbook. Yes, let's make it!

Recipe (Serves 6)


A) Onion soup

  • 680g Yellow onions, thinly sliced

  • 40f Unsalted Butter

  • 1 tbsp Olive oil

  • 3 tbsp Plain flour

  • 1.9 litres Chicken Stock

  • 1/2 cup White wine

  • 3 tbsp Cognac

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1/2 tsp Sugar

  • A dash of pepper


  1. In a heated large pot, melt the butter with oil over low heat.

  2. Add in the onions and stir well.

  3. Cover for 15 minutes and let it cook slowly.

  1. Uncover the pot, increase the heat to medium and add in salt and pepper.

  2. Stir frequently for about 30 minutes or until onions turn deep golden brown. Scrap the bottom of pot to prevent burning as the onions caramelized.

  3. Add in the flour and cook for another 3 minutes.

  4. Add in wine and stock.

  5. Season with salt and pepper.

B) Cheese Gratin

  • 2 cups Grated Gruyere

  • 1 French bread, cut into 0.8 inch thick rounds and toasted till hard

  • 2 tbsp Butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius.

  2. Divide the soups into 6 soup bowls.

  3. Add 1 tsp of cheese into the soup.

  4. Spread some butter on toast.

  5. Float a couple of toasted bread over the soup and top it with your preferred amount of cheese.

  6. Bake it for 15 minutes and finish it off over a broiler/grill at high heat to brown the cheese lightly.

  7. Serve while it is hot.

Do take note that the soup will thickened during the baking process. Enjoy!

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