Recipe: Onion Soup Gratiné

Bistros are famous for their modest, simple meals at reasonable prices.

At its finest, bistro cooking is timeless comfort food. This recipe from the first module of the Culinary Arts curriculum is for a classic bistro dish — onion soup covered in a thick layer of melted cheese. Take the time to caramelize the onions slowly and thoroughly.


  • 14 ounces thinly sliced onions
  • 1-ounce butter
  • 2 fluid ounces Calvados
  • 40 ounces white veal stock
  • 1/2 ounce salt
  • 5 slices baguette
  • 1/2 ounce softened butter
  • 5 ounces grated gruyère cheese


Makes 5 servings

  1. Sauté the onion in butter over medium-high heat until well browned, about 30 minutes.
  2. Deglaze the pan with the calvados and add the white veal stock. Simmer for another 35-40 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt.
  3. Brush the baguette slices with the softened butter. Brown the bread under the broiler until toasted.
  4. Top each piece of toasted bread with the grated gruyère cheese. Portion the soup into individual, heatproof serving containers.
  5. Place a prepared croûte on top of each portion of soup, and brown under the broiler for 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately.

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