Thoughts For Food

Insights into the Mind of a Culinary School Student

Recipe: French Onion Soup

1 Comment

Hey guys! I’m back! I know it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted an entry up and I also realize that I’ve missed a couple of days when I said that an entry would be posted. I apologize. My current class is about 7 hours long, ending around 8:30PM EST and between that and homework, there aren’t enough hours in a day. But, the good news is that this class is chock full of recipes that I can share with you all! So, without further ado, here’s the first of many!

French Onion Soup with Gruyere Croutons

Ingredients (Soup):

  • 2 ounces and 1 teaspoon of Clarified Butter
  • 2 pounds of Sliced Onions
  • 2 ounces of White Wine
  • 2 quarts of White Stock (this means that the bones have not been roasted prior to stock-making)
  • 1 small Herb Sachet which is made of: 1 clove of garlic, 1 bay leaf, Half a teaspoon of dry thyme and cracked peppercorns, A small bunch each of fresh thyme and parsley
  • Add salt to taste
  • 1 ounce of Apple Jack Brandy to finish

Ingredients (Croutons):

  • 12 Slices of a French-style Baguette (this equals roughly 2 or 3 per person)
  • Half a pound of Shredded Gruyere Cheese


  • Saute Pan
  • Soup Pot
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Tongs
  • Sheet Pan lined with Parchment Paper
  • Box Grater
  • Measuring Spoons or other measuring devices
  • Cheesecloth
  • Twine
  • Chef’s Knife
  1. Put the soup pot on high heat and add the clarified butter. When the butter shimmers, the pot has come to the correct temperature.
  2. When the pot is hot, add the 2 pounds of sliced onion. Saute on medium high or high heat until the onions caramelize.
  3. In the Saute Pan, add the remaining 1 teaspoon of the clarified butter and toast the bread slices in batches until the underside is well toasted. Remove to the sheet pan when they’re done and place them toasted side up.
  4. Add a small handful of the shredded cheese to each bread slice and season with salt and pepper. Toast until brown and crispy on the tops.
  5. When the onions have finished caramelizing, season with salt and deglaze with the white wine.
  6. Add the stock and bring the liquid back up to a boil. When it reaches a boil again, lower the heat to a simmer.
  7. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes before adding the herb sachet.
  8. To make the sachet, bundle all the ingredients inside the cheesecloth and tie it shut with the twine, leaving about a foot or so of the twine so that you can dangle the sachet in the pot, while having it tied off to one of the pot’s handles.
  9. Simmer the soup for another 5 – 10 minutes, or until it is done to your liking. Finish with the Apple Jack Brandy. Remove the sachet before serving.
  10. Top each bowl of soup with a crouton.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! It’s as fun to make as it is to eat, trust me on that one! If anyone is confused about making fresh stock or clarified butter, I’ll make a small entry to explain the nuances of those two items. Until next time food fans!


Author: NJ_Chef

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and aspiring food-writer. 28-year old chef, blogger, eSports fan, gamer, jack-of-all-trades and master of none.

One thought on “Recipe: French Onion Soup

  1. Hello Andrew! Congrats on your seemingly great experience at CIA. I am a Chef from class of 2010. I dont know if this recipe is your version or the Chef instructors, but it deviates slightly from the version i learned under Chef Briggs (skills 3) while there at CIA and I was told the version I learned was classic standard recipe with method and technique from Escoffier as is the whole foundation of CIA’s core. a sachet has garlic clove in it which I was told makes this soup not about it’s star…. The sweet taste of the onion. I was shown same method but with a thyme bouquett garni and Bay leaves . Also, I became Chef of de cuisine at Grand hotel in Central America under a CMC of International cuisine from Verona Italy. This Chef got 5th in the world in CMC best pasta competition 2011 in Balogna. His version of Escoffier I found to be the best because it focuses on the simple perfection of caramalization, not browning of the onion, the perfect white veal stock and using a dry sherry pronounced “hedess” I dont know the spelling as I was in Latin America, but It was the best dry sherry which is a white wine but it is super light and crisp which added to the perfect delicate flavor of the soup. If I am way off here please post what you know so I can correct my recipe as i always want to stay true to the classic “correct” version of Escoffier. Thanks and good luck in your endevours. Randy