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Classic French Onion Soup Recipe from Café Degas

This hearty and warming French Onion Soup is a winter favorite in New Orleans.
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French Onion Soup from Cafe Degas
French Onion Soup from Café Degas in New Orleans.

Café Degas, on Esplanade Avenue, is a favorite among New Orleans locals. The charm is undeniable—it’s intimate with a temperature-controlled deck with awnings that give patrons the sense of dining outdoors even when they aren’t. French bistro fare—patés, quiche, steamed mussels—fills out the menu, but the specials are particularly noteworthy. Warm up in winter with a bowl of their French onion soup. Try this recipe at home!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 slices of bacon, julienned
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 6 ounces white wine
  • 1 small bouquet garnish
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • baguette croutons

Method of preparation:

  1. Render bacon in butter. 
  2. Add garlic and croutons lightly. 
  3. Add ¼ onions and cook, stirring until lightly browned. 
  4. Deglaze with white wine. 
  5. Add remaining onions, bouquet, bay leaf and stock as necessary and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally. 
  6. Add thyme, salt, pepper and any remaining stock and cook for three hours until onions are very tender. 
  7. To serve, put soup in a crock or ovenproof bowl; top with croutons and a handful of cheese. Broil in oven or toast lightly with torch. Beware: The cheese is very hot and gooey. 
  8. Serve hot! Makes ½ gallon.