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Mima's French Onion Soup Au Gratin Recipe

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This recipe for Mima's French Onion Soup Au Gratin, by , is from Four Generations of Johnson Women, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Mia Knerly-Hess
Added: Wednesday, February 20, 2008


2-3 really big onions, sliced thinly
(I used a mandoline slicer; very helpful and fast.)
3 Tablespoons UNSALTED butter
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
6 cups beef broth
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
At least 4 Tablespoons robust red wine, such as a Burgundy. You could also use 4 Tablespoons Brandy.
At least 8 slices very sharp Swiss cheese, such as a Gruyere.or Ementhal.
French Bread. sliced or a bag of Croutons

A Dutch Oven or large sauce pan with a lid
Oven proof soup bowls or large ramekins (these are crucial)
Optional: Crock Pot.

Crock Pot Adaptable.
In your Dutch Oven, over a low to Medium low heat cook the onions, olive oil, sugar and butter for about 20 minutes or until the onions are "sweating" and have turned a nice golden brown. Add the beef broth, stir it up, bring to a boil then let it simmer for one hour. Then add the wine and mustard, let it cook for another 5-15 minutes. Taste it; it should have a nice tang to it. You may want to add a bit more wine. You may want to drink some wine while you're at it....(Just kidding!)

After you've brought the onion mix and the broth to a boil, transfer this to your Crock Pot and let it cook on Low for about 4-6 hours. Add the wine and mustard, stir, taste and let it simmer while you do the rest of the prep work.

(With me so far?)

Place the slices of French bread on a baking sheet and toast them under the broiler, maybe about a minute each side. You really need to watch them or they'll be burned and yucky! Remove from oven.

If you're using croutons, omit this step. Duh....

Take your oven proof bowls and pour soup until about 3/4 full then place as many bread slices as you want on top of the soup. With a spoon, dunk the bread into the soup mixture. I'd use about 2-3 slices of bread or a good big handful of croutons.
Now, place 1-3 slices of your cheese on top of that.

Place all the bowls onto a sturdy cookie or baking sheet and CAREFULLY put under the broiler. Give them about 1-4 minutes tops and WATCH them like a hawk. It's done when the cheese is all melted, gooey and bubbly with brownish edges.
Carefully remove the bowls from the oven and place on a plate.
Serve with more French bread, butter and salad and some of the wine you used too!

Caution: it's very hot!

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
30 minutes prep; 1-6 hours cooking.
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
The first time I had this kind of soup was on a dreary, cold. snowy-rainy day in Chartres, France with Josh and Dad. Whenever I have "real" French Onion Soup, it reminds of the little restaurant just across the cathedral where I first had it. It has a very distinctive taste and smell and stirs up memories of the time and of Dad and Josh as well.
But that's another story....
I had wanted to make it for years and when I found this recipe very recently on line, it had a video so making it wasn't so intimidating!
It IS time-consuming but for a hot winter's night, it can't be beat! It's messy and you have to love cheese and eating with your fingers as well.
Some people call it "peasant food" but it sure it awesome! This is as close as I've had in France, to my taste buds. Give it a try!




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