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Jacques Pépin Makes Onion Soup Gratinée

Premiere: 11/18/2021 | 00:06:49 |

In this episode of "American Masters: At Home," Pépin teaches us how to make onion soup gratinée: "You can do an onion soup, just the onion sauteed with the chicken stock or beef stock, and serve it like this by itself, and that would be an onion soup. But when you add the words gratinée, it is done with a crust of bread and of course cheese."

About the Episode

In this episode of “American Masters: At Home,” Pépin teaches us how to make onion soup gratinée. You can make a simple onion soup any time, but adding the word gratinée means that you have added some bread and a thick broiled cheese topping. Pépin uses a good Gruyère or Emmentaler cheese for this. Serving this dish in traditional French soup bowls with a thick lip helps support the melted cheese on top and prevents it from sinking.


1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, coarsely chopped, about 1½ cups
3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 to 12 slices baguette, toasted
1½ cups grated Gruyère, Emmentaler or Swiss cheese


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Heat the oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they begin to look translucent, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until they are caramelized and browned, about 12 minutes. Add the chicken stock and pepper, and additional salt if needed. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes.

Place five or six croutons in each of two soup bowls and sprinkle with a little of the cheese. Pour over the hot soup and top with the remaining cheese. Set on the baking sheet and bake until the cheese is melted, bubbling and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

"I feel that if Jacques Pépin shows you how to make an omelet, the matter is pretty much settled. That’s God talking. "

(bright music) - Hi, I'm Jacques Pépin, and this is 'American Masters at Home.'

(bright music) Today, I want to show you how to make the real onion soup gratinée, the real.

You can do an onion soup, just the onion sauteed with the chicken stock or beef stock, and serve it like this by itself, and that would be an onion soup.

But when you add the words gratinée, it is done with a crust of bread and of course cheese, and usually the cheese used is always a good Swiss cheese, like Emmental or a Gruyere, or something like that.

So here I have an onion, which is about eight ounces.

I'm going to do two gratinées today, because they are large.

I have about half a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil here, olive oil.

I'm gonna cut that coarsely.

Probably end up with six ounces of onion.

It's a bit too much here, so I have a cup, a cup and a half about of onion, good cup and a half.

And this has to cook for a while.

I would say 10, 15 minutes until it's nicely brown before you add the stock.

You stir it occasionally.

My mother used to do hers by browning it a lot, and she put a little bit of flour and water, and then finish it in a big terrine.

But here we're doing the classic way with chicken stock, this bread.

So I have a baguette here, and of course you can use any bit of stale bread, usually.

Three, six, and nine.

I would say at least 10 slices of this.

We're gonna put that into the oven to brown nicely.

Maybe I'll put a couple more.

Okay. I have 12 little pieces of bread here.

I'm not using all of it.

That goes into the oven.

I have three cup of chicken stock here, and the Gruyere, grated.

About a cup, cup and a half of grated Gruyere here.

I may not use all of it exactly.

And that would be for two gratinée like this.

And as you can see, those are the bowls that I use for the gratinée.

There is one and the other.

My favorite one is this one.


Because there is a lip here and you see the lip here.

So when you put the bread, the stock in it, you finish, the bread will come to this here fast.

You finish with the cheese.

The cheese will turn to glue here, make a crust.

And even if you do it ahead, it doesn't sink in.

This one where there is a straight side, the crust will sink in after.

So preferably you have this one.

Those are a cup and a half each.

So that's almost a whole meal.

Over here, it starts browning, as you can see.

It's got a while to go.

So as you can see here, they are beautifully brown, nicely, and it cooked about 12 minutes on medium to low heat.

Then add my three cups of stock.

Good stock here.

And depending on the seasoning of your stock also, you have to test it.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yeah, there is enough salt in this one.

It needs some pepper.

So this will come to a boil.

Come to a boil and boil about five minutes.

That's enough.

Okay, so this has been boiling like five minutes.

Then it is good.

So there is my cup now.

My croutons are ready.

Something like five croutons.

You can do it a little less, a little more.

We're putting the whole thing, six croutons.

A little bit of cheese on top here.

A bit of a cheese here.

I may need a little more.

When we have that at home, usually it's dinner, with a salad.

So here, you want to fill that up.

You want to fill that up basically to the top.

And cheese on the top.

And you have to be very generous with the cheese.

And this one is gonna stick to the other side here.

Add a cup of cheese here.

Think I'll use all of it.

So a cup and a half of cheese, which is about four ounces of cheese at the most.

And that goes into the oven, four to 425 for like 25, 30 minutes.

And this is it.

My gratinée d'oignons.

As you see, the onion soup is the base.

If you say gratinée, there's a gratin on top, that's with the cheese and the bread.

And I did it on the non-stick aluminum foil there.

There's already a little bit of spillage.

And that's the whole meal, and that's really, really hot here, I hope.

Yeah, it's hot.

My gratinée d'oignons.

Happy cooking.

(bright music) Thank you for joining me.

For more, subscribe to this channel, or watch here.

Thank you, and happy cooking.


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