Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Very Special #CookForJulia #SundaySupper...Featuring Onion-Rice Soubise

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

One of my earliest food memories is watching Julia Child's television program on the local PBS station. Julia cooked French food -- foods that this young Texas gal had never heard of -- much less  eaten. I was hooked! I loved the obvious happiness that she displayed as she cooked...and that she didn't take things too seriously. Things didn't always go as planned when she cooked, and she just took it in stride and carried on. I appreciated that Julia kept it real! She's one of my original cooking heroes. Before there was Emeril, Thomas Keller, or Iron Chefs...there was Julia. Mention the name Julia to any foodie, and they'll know immediately who you're talking last name needed!! 

Julia Child's 100th birthday is later this month, so the #SundaySupper crew is celebrating by throwing a virtual party featuring some of her best recipes! Michael gave me the two-volume set of Mastering the Art of French Cooking a couple of years ago for Christmas. Until now, I've mostly used it as a reference for cooking techniques. Some of the recipes are a bit time-consuming and can be a bit intimidating, even for an experienced cook. But? They really don't have to be...the recipe I'm sharing today is quite simple and very delicious: Soubise. Never heard of it? Yeah, I hadn't either until this week. Now, I'm wondering where it's been all my life!

Soubise is pronounced soo-beez...and it's a baked mixture of thinly sliced onion and rice with a bit of cream, butter, and cheese tossed in for richness. It's simple, but oh-so-yummy! After a few minutes of initial prep work, the oven does the rest of the work for you. The only minor tweaks I made to Julia's original dish were to make a half batch to serves three people...and I added a bit of thyme and some extra cheese on top to make it a gratin.

Onion-Rice Soubise
gently adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Step 1: Preheat oven to 300. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add 1/3 cup rice; cook for exactly 5 minutes. Drain the rice and set aside. Meanwhile, thinly slice 1 lb. yellow onion. For me, this was one large yellow onion...which I sliced using my OXO hand-held mandoline. Add 2 tbs. melted butter to the onions and toss to coat. Place in a 9x9 baker.

Step 2: Add the reserved par-cooked rice, 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, and salt & cracked pepper to taste. Stir well to combine, cover the pan tightly with foil, and bake for about an hour. The liquid from the onions will cook (and flavor) the rice perfectly. I removed the foil halfway from baking, gave it a good stir, and then finished baking.

Step 3: After the soubise has finished baking, the rice will be tender. Add the following ingredients to the pan: 2 tbs. heavy cream, 1/4 cup shredded gruyere, and 1 tbs. butter. Stir well to combine. Top with 1/2 cup additional gruyere and top with a sprig of thyme for color. Bake until the cheese has melted. 

This side dish is really unique: reminiscent of risotto from the addition of cream and butter at the end, but the ratio of onion to rice is at least 2-to-1. The onions cook up tender and sweet, and the cream/cheese/butter combo gives it a rich creaminess. This dish paired perfectly with juicy grilled chicken. I'm so glad to have added this to my culinary repertoire, and I can't wait to make it again. I hope that you'll add soubise to YOUR must-try list!

While you're at it, I also hope you'll join us for a very special #CookForJulia #SundaySupper chat on Twitter tonight at 700EST. While you're at it, make sure to visit my fellow #SundaySupper bloggers and see which classic Julia dish they're sharing today:

#CookForJulia Breakfast
Râpée Morvandelle by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings 
Croissants by Cookistry 
Eggs Baked in Ramekins (Oeufs en Cocotte à la crème)  by Cooking by the Seat of our Pants 
Cheese and Bacon Quiche by Tora’s Real Food
#CookForJulia Lunch
Tuna Salad Nicoise by Magnolia Days 
Potato and Onion Soup (Potage Parmentier) by Shockingly Delicious 
Blood Orange, Walnut, and Rocket Salad by Granny’s Down Home Southern Cooking 
Croque Monsieur by Webicurean
Spinach and Cream Cheese Pancakes by Happy Baking Days 
Julia’s Chicken Salad by My Trials in the Kitchen 
Pissaladière Niçoise (Onion Tart with Anchovies and Black Olives) by The Wimpy Vegetarian
Provencal Tomato Quiche by Are you hungry?
Quiche Lorraine and Mixed Green Salad by Spoon and Saucer 
#CookForJulia Dinner
Boeuf Bourguignon by Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence
Orecchiette Con Broccoli Di Rape and Sausages by Doggie at the Dinner Table 
Boeuf Bourguignon by Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
Veal Stew with Onions and Mushrooms with Baked Cucumbers and Boiled Potatoes (Blanquette de veau a l’ancienne with concombres au buerre) by Kimchi Mom
Salmon en Papillote by Girlichef
Poached salmon with cucumber sauce by Katherine Martinelli
Lobster Souffle and Deviled Chicken- Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends 
Roasted Chicken with Julia’s Mustard Marinade by The Meltaways
Wild Mushroom and Herb Stuffed Chicken- Mama Mommy Mom
Puree of White Beans with Garlic and Herbs (Brandade á la Soissonaise) Avocado Pesto
Julia’s Kunming Connection: Chinese Steampot Chicken- by My Kitchen and I
Poulet au Porto by Family Foodie 
#CookForJulia Sides
Hollondaise over Blanched Asparagus by The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Scalloped Potatoes with Milk, Cheese, and Garlic (Gratin Dauphinois) by Home Cooking Memories 
Ratatouille by Basic N Delicious 
French-style country pate by There and Back Again
White Bean Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips Momma’s Meals
Oeufs à la Diable by What Smells So Good?
Ratatouille by Cupcakes and Kale Chips
#CookForJulia Desserts
Cream Cheese and Lemon Flan by Juanita’s Cocina
Strawberry Sherbert in Cooky Cups by Cravings of a Lunatic
Creme Brulee by Wine Everyday
Mousseline Au Chocolat by Small Wallet Big Appetite
Peach Tarte Tatin by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Cinnamon Toast Flan by Vintage Kitchen Notes
Dark Chocolate Crepes by Family Spice
Crepes Fines Sucrees by Mangoes and Chutney
Pommes Rosemarie:Apples Rosie  The Daily Dish Recipes
Espresso Soufflé by Chocolate Moosey
Best Ever Brownies by In the Kitchen with Audrey
Orange-Almond Jelly Roll Cake by Mrs. Mama Hen
Orange Spongecake Cupcakes by Mama’s Blissful Bites
Orange Mousse with Greek Yogurt by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pops by Big Bears Wife

Wine Pairings by: Martin Redmond Relishing Food and Wine; Thanks to Julia Child! by ENOFYLZ


  1. This is such a great recipe & great post! Love the way you posted the steps. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. This looks amazing! And coincidentally...we chose the same Julia quote to feature on our blogs today! LOL!

  3. Great job, Wendy! It held together so well and looks great!

  4. I've definitely added this to my to-try soundslike a side dish that my whole family would love!

  5. Oh yes, this will be added to my must-try list. Thanks for sharing it!

  6. Nothing wrong with adding extra cheese! This looks very creamy and decadent!

  7. I had NO clue what soubise was before seeing this - it looks fantastic and I bet it tasted that way too!

  8. Yes..this will be on my must make list! Delish! Thank you so much for cooking in this #SS :)

  9. This is the perfect side dish, so simple and delicious! I had no idea what soubise was.

  10. I love onions. This sounds so delicious.

  11. I had no idea what soubise was before reading your post. This dish looks like a perfect side dish for, um, anything!

  12. I have never heard of soubise before! This definitely gets an OMG and two thumbs up from me!

  13. Wendy...this looks fabulous! I've never prepared rice this way before. Thanks to you and Julia for this recipe! : )

  14. I swear I can almost smell this. It looks fabulous. Great choice for SS.

  15. ooh ! This looks fab ! Love cooking with rice & this is so unique. Bet the onion adds lots of flavor ! Will try this !

  16. What a great side dish idea. I love love love rice.

  17. Fabulous! That's the first word that comes to mind when I see this!

  18. What a wonderful side dish! It looks delicious!

  19. I've never had this dish but it looks great!

  20. What a great comfort dish this would be! Love it! :)

  21. As a huge fan of onions, this looks so good! I could eat all of it!

    Jamie @

  22. This sounds like the perfect side dish for grilled chicken, and a wonderful tribute to Julia.

  23. I agree with Becky! It does sound like a perfect side dish with grilled chicken. Love the extra added cheese to this delicious rice!
    What a great list of talented foodies...will check them out! Thanks for sharing, Wendy:D xo

  24. Hello Wendy! It's always fun trying something new, isn't it? This soubise sounds delicious and like you said, reminds me of risotto but easier and more flavorful!

  25. This looks like the perfect comfort food, and especially with the additional cheese you added. Now I just need some cooler weather :-)


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