Julia Child's French Onion Soup & Quiche Lorraine

by gratinee on August 7, 2009

Today is an important day of sorts. A day that I–as well as thousands of foodies and food bloggers–have been awaiting anxiously for weeks now; the release of Julie & Julia featuring Meryl Streep as Julia Child.

JuliaAndJulia

It also marks the last day in a series of recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking that I have been attempting over the course of the last little while. Until Hélène from La Cuisine d’Hélène suggested a MtAoFC challenge a couple of weeks ago, my copy of Julia Child’s magnum opus sat largely unused on my bookshelf. But later is always better than never, and I’m so glad that I got the nudge to cook from this classic cookbook. I’ve always been the type of person who uses cookbooks as a starting point. I rarely cook a recipe all the way through as printed. With Mastering, however, I decided that it would only be fair to Julia and the challenge to cook the dishes exactly as described.

I’m so glad I did. Everything I’ve made has come out much better than expected. I have started out with the simpler dishes but liked them so much that I’ve made some of them twice. Although this is my last MtAoFC challenge, it’s surely not the last time I’m going to cook from Julia Child’s wonderful book.

Soupe à L’oignon Gratinée – French Onion Soup

The key to French Onion soup is the slow cooking of the onions in butter and oil, followed by a long, slow simmering in stock. This helps them to develop the rich flavor this soup is known for.

6-8 servings

Ingredients:

5 cups thinly sliced yellow onions

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons flour

2 quarts beef stock, boiling

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons cognac

4-6 rounds of hard-toasted French bread

1-2 cups grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese

fronion

Directions:

1) Cook the onions slowly in the butter and oil in a covered saucepan for 15 minutes. Uncover, raise heat to medium and stir in the salt and sugar. The sugar will help the onions to brown. Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions have turned a deep golden brown.

2) Sprinkle in the flour and stir over heat for 3 minutes. Off heat, blend in the stock. Add the wine and season to taste. Simmer partially covered for another 30-40 minutes or more, skimming if needed. Correct seasonings.

3) Just before serving, stir in the cognac. Place rounds of bread in soup bowls or a tureen and pour soup on top. Sprinkle with grated cheese and brown under a hot broiler until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Quiche Lorraine – Cream & Bacon Quiche

quichelor

4-6 servings

Ingredients:

3-4 ounces lean bacon

8-inch partially cooked pastry shell

3 eggs

1 1/2 – 2 cups cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

pinch of pepper

pinch of nutmeg

1-2 tablespoons butter cut into pea-sized dots

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Brown  bacon in a skillet. Drain on paper towels and press pieces into bottom of pastry shell.

2) Beat the eggs, cream, and seasonings in a mixing bowl until blended. Check seasonings. Pour into pastry shell and distribute butter pieces on top.

3) Set in upper third of preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the quiche has puffed and browned. Slide quiche on a hot platter and serve.

For more Mastering the Art of French Cooking recipes, take a look at La Fuji Mama, La Cuisine d’Hélène, or Whisk.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Fuji Mama August 7, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Now if only I can get to that movie!!!! Yum, that looks like it was an amazing meal!!!

Julia @ Mélanger August 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm

So delicious. Both dishes look so lovely. They are two of my absolute favourites. I have never used Julia’s recipes before though. Will have to add them on my growing list of recipes to try! Enjoy the movie. 2 more months for me to wait here. Hopefully I can stand the anticipation!

lickedspoon August 7, 2009 at 11:13 pm

What a wonderful reminder this series of posts has been of why classics become classics. The soup and the quiche look like perfection.

Tianne August 7, 2009 at 11:16 pm

i’m a sucker for fr. onion soup… yours looks mouthwatering!

gratinee August 8, 2009 at 7:21 am

Thanks, everyone. I find the soup extra delicious if you cook it even longer than instructed. It reduces and that really concentrates the flavours. This is definitely going to become a staple, along with the other things I’ve made from this book.

Sasha August 9, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Good job!
I was just reading both of these recipes not too long ago. I’m dying to make that soup : /

Hélène August 9, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Everything looks so good. I can’t wait to make the French Onion Soup. Now I have to see the movie.

Rosa August 10, 2009 at 2:14 am

Both your Quiche Lorraine and Onion Soup look fantastic! Two scrumptious dishes!

Cheers,

Rosa

gratinee August 10, 2009 at 7:49 am

It turned out great. Even better if you cook it for longer.

gratinee August 10, 2009 at 7:50 am

I saw the movie this weekend and really enjoyed it. Streep was fantastic.

gratinee August 10, 2009 at 7:50 am

Thank you, Rosa. Love your blog.

gastroanthropologist August 10, 2009 at 10:43 am

WOW.
I love Streep and I’m sure she is amazing in this. I hope its playing now in London too…

Annette Roennebek January 4, 2010 at 12:26 pm

It’s the second time I make this absolutely delicious soup. The aroma and the taste reminds me of “Les Halles” in Paris, where I first tasted this soup in 1967.
Oh, la,la….. Merci Julia.

Annette
Pomapno Beach, Florida

Tasha January 12, 2010 at 10:54 pm

I’m excited to try the Soupe a l’Oignon! There’s a wonderful French restaurant downtown San Antonio called Le Midi (www.lemidirestaurant.com) that has a to-die-for French Onion soup with MOUNDS of delicious cheese! But, being a vegetarian I have a slight aversion to beef stock, so I’m going to try it with vegetable stock… I’ll let you know how it turns out!!!

gratinee January 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I’ve made it with all sorts of stock and it’s still great!

Lisa March 23, 2010 at 7:25 am

Now I have seeen the movie twice maybe 3 times. I’ve always wanted to try one of the recipes just afraid I might mess it up. The one I really want to try is the Beef stew one in red wine….ahhh I hate that I can’t remember the name.

Johanna January 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Hi,
I’ve made the beof blah,blah,blah (LOL) and it was delicious! After watching “Julie and Julia” I not only got the Mastering French Cookbooks, but I also purchased the complete series of Julia’s cooking show on DVD. It’s snowing out and I want to tackle the french onion soup and the quiche, if I can get my husband to go to the store for me (I broke my foot)!
I love Rachel Ray and Paula Deen,but there’s something elegant about the time and energy it takes to put together a really good French meal.

Sarah February 20, 2011 at 8:36 am

So funny – I am actually cooking both the onion soup and the quiche right now. I’ve been doing French recipes all month long, and I’m becoming a little obsessed. I will have to check out what other things you’ve made – I’m sure there are more!

Allison October 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Just finished making Soupe à L’oignon Gratinée
Tres Bien !!!

souperman December 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

To see and hear Julia make it herself:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mibhumrIXvs

Tried Alton Brown’s recipe, too much white wine

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