Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gratinee a l'oignon (French Onion soup)

One of the perks of cold weather is that it is once again the season to enjoy the deliciousness that is French onion soup.

An absolute classic recipe that is best enjoyed after a day of skiing, hiking or really just plain lazy urban cocooning, it is one of the cheapest and satisfying meals I can think of!

Do try it. I promise you this will not be in vain :)

PS: on top of my regular point and shoot photography, my friend Rod came over to share some food and macro photography tips. Take a look at this!

Photographs by Rod Egret

INGREDIENTS (for 4 people, or 2 people for 2 meals)
- 1 1/2 lbs onions
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup AP flour
- 1 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio, but you can use Riesling or even a red; if you are using a white though, use a dry wine not sweet)
- 8 cups beef broth (you can use vegetable broth if you wish to make a vegetarian version, but if you do eat meat, beef is the way to go!)
- 1/2 stick of butter
- a sprig of thyme and a bay leaf
- a stale French baguette, or any stale bread you can slice and shape into large croutons
- PLENTY of grated Alpine Gruyere (No, you really cannot use mozzarella, jack or cheddar on this... If you cannot find Gruyere, I guess an aged Parmesan would work, but you just cannot replicate the sweet, nutty, delicious flavor of Gruyere. It is really not that much of a splurge: I got the pictured slab for about 5.50 dollars at whole foods, and only used about half of it. For real!)

- in a dutch oven or deep pot, melt the butter and saute the sliced onions over medium-high heat until golden brown and lightly caramelized (about 5-7 minutes)

- add the flour and the finely chopped garlic, mix and cook for another 2 minutes over medium heat, making sure it does not stick to the bottom

- deglaze the pot with the wine, then add the beef broth, thyme and bay leaf and simmer over medium heat for another 25-30 minutes

- after 30 minutes, the soup will have thickened and reduced a little in volulme, and the onions will be very tender

- place a crouton in the bottom of an oven-proof bowl and ladle the soup over it. Add another two croutons on top and smother in grated cheese (forgot to take a picture with the cheese, sorry!)

- melt the cheese under the broiler for a few minutes and look often! The croutons are very prone to burning... ahem...

- enjoy piping hot, with a nice glass of red wine!


  1. I made this last night and Steve loved it. I used Chardonnay but don't know if that's a "dry white." How can I share photos with you on your site? or I can email you directly

    1. YAY!!!! Chardonnay is typically a dry wine (as opposed to Moscato or dessert wines, which are sweet). I'm not sure how or even if photo sharing works on blogger, but feel free to share on the PITK Facebook page :D Can't wait to see the pics!