Soubise Is The Creamy French Onion Sauce You Need To Know

French cuisine has long been synonymous with lavish foods and fine dining. While these foods are often labeled as high-end, most quintessential French meals are made with simple and accessible ingredients, whether it's potatoes, onions, staple meats, or locally-grown vegetables. And, there's no better example of achieving lux taste at a low cost than creamy soubise sauce.

If you're looking to elevate your dinner fare with a bit of French flair, soubise sauce, a a spin-off of béchamel,  is a rich and creamy addition to any steak or chicken or an easy way to boost a plate of steamed vegetables. Soubise is the perfect example of one of those dishes that feels high-end while being made from everyday ingredients, such as onions, cream, and butter.

This dish was first created by the esteemed mind of Auguste Escoffier, the famed French chef. His recipe called for directly mixing béchamel and cooked-down onions together. While today the ingredient list is slightly different, it's still a quick and easy sauce to make that will have you shamelessly licking the bottom of your dinner plate.

Soubise brings together bechamel sauce and onions

This sauce is absolutely packed with flavor, so you might find it hard to believe that it's only made with three ingredients and a couple of seasonings you already have on your spice rack. In fact, you likely have everything you need already stocked in your kitchen, so there's no excuse to not try out this sauce for yourself.

While the original recipe was just béchamel sauce and sautéed onions in lots of butter, newer versions substitute the sauce for a heavy cream. As you know, simply nothing bad can be created out of onions and butter mixed with cream, but an additional pinch of a few select spices brings this sauce to the next level.

Depending on who you ask, some seasonings are better to add than others. It seems the original recipe opted for salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. But many people today will add anything from curry powder to grated cheese for a funky, salty layer. It's up to your personal preferences which spices you choose to compliment the overall flavor of the sauce. Some other variations of this sauce call for adding tomato paste in just before serving, substituting the cream for stock, or blending in cooked rice as a thickener. 

Soubise sauce adds a luxurious layer to your dishes

While the luscious texture and mouthwatering taste may have you believing this sauce is difficult to make, it actually couldn't be more simple. In only half an hour, you'll be able to achieve a beautifully rich and super-smooth sauce that is fit for royalty.

The first step is to prep your onions. Once you slice the vegetable into thin strips, the onion can be tossed into a heated pan with plenty of butter. It will take a little bit for the onions to soften, but after about 20 minutes they will become perfectly golden brown and ultra-tender. At this point, the heavy cream can be added to the pan and the three ingredients are simmered together until perfectly cooked. To achieve the iconic, silky texture, this mixture then gets blended together. The seasonings are added into the blender as well, and the sauce gets pulsed until smooth. The sauce is then poured through a fine-mesh strainer to ensure an ideal consistency.

It can then be poured into a serving bowl or directly added over your entree, whether it's roasted chicken, a grilled steak, seasoned vegetables, even a seared salmon. You can also store it in the fridge for a few days if you're wanting to make sure you get the same luxurious experience for multiple dinners in the same week.