French Onion Soup

serves 6–8

This is quite a miraculous soup—the miracle of the onion. It tastes like it has simmered on the stove for days, but you can make a big pot in a couple of hours.

For the soup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 bay leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 large tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 bottle white wine, or red wine
if you prefer
4–6 cups chicken stock

For the toasts
6–24 slices baguette
½ pound Gruyère, thinly sliced


For the soup, heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and brown, about 20 minutes.

Season with pepper and stir in the flour. Cook for a few minutes to remove the raw flour taste. Stir in the mustard. Add the wine and stir to mix everything together. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the soup comes to a simmer, about 10 minutes. Add 4 cups of the stock and, when the soup comes to a vigorous simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently simmer the soup until it has developed a rich flavor and has thickened slightly, 45–60 minutes. Add more stock if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the toasts, butter both sides of the bread slices then toast them on both sides until lightly browned in a preheated broiler. Top the toasted bread slices with the Gruyère and return to the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Meanwhile, ladle the soup into bowls. Float some of the cheese toasts on top of each.


[ you can find this recipe in Canal House Cooking Volume N° 3, Winter & Spring ]