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French Onion Soup with Gruyère Cheese and Cognac

My French Onion Soup Recipe features the very best elements like leeks, onions, shallots, quality Cognac, Gruyere cheese, and homemade sourdough croutons and makes for a hearty meal by itself. By slowly cooking down the aromatic ingredients, the soup is silky, sweet, and savory.

French Onion Soup with Gruyere Cheese and Cognac

French Onion Soup with Gruyere Cheese and Cognac

Click the link for the complete French Onion Soup with Gruyère Cheese and Cognac recipe and the High Definition cooking video.

High Definition Video Presented Here on How To Make French Onion Soup

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves: 6 soup portions


  • Three glugs of good quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4-5 sage leaves
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 red onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3 large white onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3 banana shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large leeks (see video for which part to use)
  • 1 tbsp of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 liter  (1 qt)  beef, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 loaf of sourdough bread (or french stick bread), cut into 1″ cubes, toasted
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups of grated Gruyère cheese for topping the soup
  • oven-safe soup bowls
  • Scallions and sage leaves for garnish

Cooking Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot on medium heat, add the olive oil and butter into the pot, allowing the butter to melt and come up to a sizzle
  2. Add the sage leaves and garlic and saute them in the butter and olive oil to impart a flavor.  Careful, garlic burns quickly, so if it starts to go brown, quickly move to the next step
  3. Add all the aromatic ingredients – onions, shallots, leaks – to the pot and season with salt and pepper.  Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 45 minutes to allow them to soften
  4. Aromatics in the Stew Pot

    Aromatics in the Stew Pot

  5. While the onions, shallots, and leeks are cooking down and softening, cut up a loaf of sourdough bread into 1″ cubes, and place on large cookie sheet.  Place in oven at 475 degrees F and toast for 10 minutes until golden brown
  6. Sourdough Bread Loaf

    Sourdough Bread Loaf

  7. After the onions have cooked down for 45 minutes (and look something like the picture below), add the cognac to the pot, and light with a long match or BBQ lighter.  Allow the alcohol from the cognac to completely burn off before moving on to the next step.  Be careful, the cognac will flame up instantly, so exercise caution!
  8. Onions Being Rendered Down

    Onions Being Rendered Down

  9. Add the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce to the pot and bring it up to a boil on high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and allow the soup to simmer for another 15 minutes
  10. Ladle the French onion soup into an oven safe soup bowl, and add the croutons.  Sprinkle the Gruyère
    cheese on top, and place in the oven under a broiler for 30 seconds, allowing the cheese to melt over the croutons
  11. Remove from oven and garnish with sage leaves.  Serve hot!

Wine Pairing:

Serve with a nice french wine, like the Roux Pere & Fils Bourgogne.  This $15 wine represents excellent value, and tastes great for a wine from the Burgundy region at this price point.  From the LCBO web site:

“This wine is loaded with notes of cherry, strawberry, raspberry, ripe tomato, mushroom and spice. An astounding value, this wine would serve as an excellent introduction to Pinot Noir. Rookie or pro alike will enjoy this wine….”

Roux Pere & Fils Bourgogne

Roux Pere & Fils Bourgogne

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2 Responses to “French Onion Soup with Gruyère Cheese and Cognac”

  1. What a terrific post! Great detailed recipe. Very good photography that illustrates instructions very clearly. Thank you for sharing, delicious tasting soup.

  2. Bart says:

    Rémy Martin Cognac. Brandy will also do and costs a bit less.

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