Sunday, September 18, 2016

Jacques Pepin's Onion Soup Lyonnaise-Style {French Onion Soup}


Awhile back I bought some soup bowls specifically made for serving French Onion Soup. I had intended to make the soup straight away, but every time I thought about it I envisioned standing in front of the chopping board with tears streaming down my cheeks. Now I love onions, especially when topped with crusty bread and lots of cheese, but I do not love continuously crying over mounds of onions. Never mind that it ruins my makeup.

Fast forward to today when I was planning on spending a lazy Sunday at home in my pajamas, no makeup necessary.  I decided it was time to blow out my Farmer's Market candle and get this house smelling like proper French Onion Soup.

Now if you love French Onion Soup then hear me when I say this recipe is total and complete perfection. In fact, it's easily one of my favorite recipes I've made since blogging almost 8 years ago! Why? Well, the French Onion Soup we've all come to know and love is so delicious because it is topped with that crusty bread and melted cheese. That crusty bread and melted cheese is easily the pièce de résistance.  Now, how do we improve on that? By adding more cheese and bread, of course! How about crusty bread and cheese on the bottom of the bowl and on top? Yum! What's more, Pepin makes this soup even more easy to eat by running the soup through a food mill to chop the onion into bits so that it fits on the spoon better. This means no juggling big rings of onion on your spoon while you spill broth everywhere. Score! Now we have a French Onion Soup worth crying over!

Onion Soup Lyonnaise-Style
Adapted from Essential Pepin
Serves 6-8

15-20 slices baguette, 1/4 inch thick
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
8 cups homemade chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sweet port
Optional: sprinkling of Herbes de Provence, to taste

Note: This recipe can be halved quite easily. Also worth noting that I skipped adding the egg yolk and the port, although I'm quite sure it would be delicious.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Arrange the bread slices on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned. Remove from the oven and set aside (Leave the oven on).

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onions and saute for 15 minutes, or until dark brown.

Add the stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Push the soup through a food mill, if desired.

Arrange one third of the toasted bread in the bottom of an ovenproof soup tureen or large casserole. Sprinkle with some of the cheese, then add the remaining bread and more cheese, saving enough to sprinkle over the top of the soup. Fill the tureen with the hot soup, sprinkle the reserved cheese on top, and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a golden rust forms on top. 

Combine the yolks with the port in a deep soup plate and whip with a fork. With a ladle, make a hole in the top of the gratinee, pour in the port mixture, and fold into the soup with the ladle. Stir everything together, bring the soup to the table, and serve.

Every Sunday @ Kahakai Kitchen
Theme: Monthly Featured Chef: Jacques Pepin


  1. I do love French onion soup! Its a soup of extraordinary taste and simple ingredients. I have those french onion soup bowls tucked away in the cabinet. When the weather cools down this is a soup on the list!


  2. Good French onion soup is a revelation and this one looks delicious. Who can argue with more cheese and bread?!?!

    Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week! ;-)

  3. This is my go to recipe and it is almost time for a bowl for fire pit night!

  4. I so love your onion soup bowls! And your soup looks gorgeous! I got to admit, onion soup has been on my list of to make for ages!
    I wish that I could dig right into your bowl of onion soup!

  5. That is a fine looking crock of soup. I know, onions get me crying too but they are so worth it! Pepin is rocking this recipe.

  6. Your gorgeous onion soup reminds me that it's the season to make this soup again. I made it and it's very enticing.

  7. You need to get a pair of those onion goggles!! My husband SWEARS by them. Ugh, one of my favorite soups. Looks so good.


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