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Cooking from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a joy. We just finished a four-week class, “The Best of Julia Child” (next session starts on May 6 and only a few spaces are still available) and the hands-down-most-favorite-recipe was soubise. None of the classtakers had ever heard of this fabulous side dish, but they all went home and made it. I don’t know why soubise is not better known; it is so delicious. I call it “French risotto,” but it’s much easier to make than risotto because soubise does not need minding. The moisture from the onions provides the liquid for cooking the rice and the thinly-sliced onions melt into the rice. Plus, leftover soubise is really delicious for breakfast with a poached egg on top.


  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and boil the rice for exactly 5 minutes. Drain immediately. Peel the onions and thinly slice on a mandolin. Melt the butter in a stove and oven-safe casserole (such as a 4.5-quart Le Creuset dutch oven) and briefly saute the onions. Stir the rice and seasonings. Cover and bake at 300 degrees for an hour, stirring once or twice while cooking. Remove from the oven, stir in the cream and cheese, and taste and correct the seasonings.

6 Comments for “Newbies for Soubise”  

  1. Alanna

    So it’s in the oven. :-) And my cheese choices without heading out in the snow are goat cheese, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and feta. I’m thinking feta?

  2. Anne

    I would vote for goat cheese. If you choose feta, mix in some cream cheese for a smoother texture.

  3. Alanna

    Aha — so I started to use feta and then changed my mind and used the goat cheese. Twas FABULOUS. Life changing if I may say so!

  4. Anne

    Glad you enjoyed the soubise! Next time, use the grated gruyere cheese for the true French aroma and taste.

  5. Alanna

    Oh darn. I have to make it AGAIN. ;-)

  6. Alanna

    Okay so I guess I like soubise! I just posted my take on it, http://kitchenparade.com/2010/02/julia-childs-soubise-recipe-onions-rice.php. Hope you approve, Ms Anne!