French Onion Soup-fflé

August 27, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth Food Stylist: Ericka Martins
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 55 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Don’t let soufflés scare you. They’re just fluffy and warm pots of cheese, exactly what I want to dive into on a cool fall night. This soufflé combines two of my gooey favorites: creamy cheese soufflé and rich French onion soup. Béchamel, a milk sauce thickened with flour and butter, is the traditional base for a cheese soufflé. Here I’m starting with an extra-thick gravy instead, adding lots of nutty Gruyère, and lining the pan with bread crumbs for all those French onion soup flavors in a new form. Serve this soufflé alongside a crisp salad with bitter greens, tart apple, and a punchy vinaigrette to balance the richness. Or try my Pimento Cheese Soufflé! And find all of my tips and tricks right here, so you can take soufflés off-script. —Sohla El-Waylly

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
French Onion Soup-fflé
  • Pan
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons panko
  • Soufflé
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups high-quality beef bone broth or mushroom stock
  • 6 ounces Gruyère, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 large egg whites
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Prep the pan: Using your hands, grease a 1½-quart soufflé dish or 4 large oven-safe mugs with the butter. Evenly sprinkle with the panko.
  3. For the soufflé: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until deeply browned, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat if needed to prevent burning. Remove from heat and add the bourbon. Return to high heat (stand back, it will ignite) and cook until fully reduced and a spoon dragged across the bottom of the pan leaves a trail, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring continuously until the mixture is foamy, light blonde, and just beginning to smell toasty, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the bone broth a splash at a time, whisking constantly, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer, still stirring frequently, until it is reduced by half (once reduced, the mixture will yield about 1⅓ cups), 15 to 25 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the grated cheese, salt, and black pepper. Using a rubber spatula, stir well until everything is incorporated and the cheese has fully melted. Add the yolks and stir vigorously until the yolks are fully incorporated and no streaks remain. Set aside to cool slightly.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. The egg whites should look foamy, airy, and opaque. When you lift the whisk, a peak should curl back onto itself.
  7. Stir the cheese batter, then add the egg whites in three parts, gently folding in the whites until well blended (a few streaks of white are okay, avoid overmixing) before adding the next addition. Spoon the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish or divide between the mugs.
  8. Set the soufflé dish or mugs on a sheet pan and place in the oven. After 5 minutes, turn down the oven to 400°F, and keep baking until the soufflé is risen, golden, and set with a slight wiggle in the center, another 15 to 18 minutes (or 12 to 15 minutes for the mugs). Serve at once.

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Sohla El-Waylly is a Food52 Resident, sharing new riffable recipes every month that'll help you get creative in the kitchen. Watch her cook on YouTube in her new series, Off-Script With Sohla. Before she started developing fun recipes for home cooks, she worked as a chef in N.Y.C. and L.A., briefly owning a restaurant in Brooklyn with her husband and fellow chef, Ham El-Waylly. She lives in the East Village with Ham, their two dogs, and cat. Find out what else she's up to on Instagram @sohlae

2 Reviews

Danna F. February 25, 2022
It takes longer to caramelize the onions but the rest worked just as described. I will make it again!
cosmiccook September 20, 2021
I take it by dark brown you mean caramelized? I've never been able to achieve it in 15 minutes. 20-25 for small amounts. Can I prep to step 5 ahead of time --and LIGHTLY rewarm before adding to cheese & egg whites? Can't WAIT to make this--Friday will have just the cool weather for this dish!