soubise sauce

Classic French Soubise Sauce

This Soubise Sauce recipe is an easy classic French sauce to add to your repertoire. It’s a versatile sauce that goes with vegetarian, meat and fish dishes. A base of slow cooked onions, thyme and cream, it’s easy to make and super luxurious. We serve our Soubise sauce with confit leeks, crispy onions and a chive oil.

Soubise Sauce served with confit leeks

What is Soubise Sauce?

Soubise Sauce is a classic onion based French sauce that dates back to the 1800s. At its purest its braised onions added to a béchamel sauce but more modern versions use either cream or milk. The sauce is generally blended creating a luxurious savoury sauce that’s great with meat and fish.

The sauce is named after Charles de Rohan who was the 4th Prince of Soubise in the 1700s. It’s thought that the Aristocrat and his title was the reason for the name. The first mention of the sauce in cookbooks goes back to 1830 when it appeared in L’Art de la Cuisine by French chef Marie-Antoine Carême. It was later described by Escoffier where he used a béchamel sauce to braised onions.

What You’ll Need

To make a Soubise sauce you’ll need:

Onions: White or brown onions are best for this recipe as they’re a great balance of sweet and savoury. Avoid using red onions as the colour just isn’t right. Shallots can be added but they’re very sweet when braised.

Garlic: A clove of thinly sliced fresh garlic adds some more flavour and aroma to the sauce. Avoid using dried garlic – it’s got a completely different flavour.

Butter: A few knobs of unsalted butter are the base of the sauce and add a beautiful creamy richness to the dish. It’s the butter that the onions slowly braise in – just like Escoffier’s version! Avoid using salted butter as the sauce can become too salty.

Cream: Heavy or double cream is the main liquid for the sauce and helps to create a lovely thick consistency. You can use single or reduced fat cream but you will need to reduce it further to get the same consistency.

Thyme: Fresh thyme adds a really lovely aroma that infuses into the cream when it’s braising. It’s optional and we remove it from the sauce before blending.

Nutmeg: A bit of freshly grated nutmeg adds a lovely aroma and flavour – a little goes a long way!


Makes enough for 4 portions.

  • 2 medium white or brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 30g or 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 300ml heavy/double cream
  • 2 springs thyme
  • Nutmeg, as required

How to Make Soubise Sauce

  1. Start by preheating a heavy bottomed sauté pan on a medium heat. Add your butter and when melted, add the sliced onions. Cook the onions on a medium heat whilst stirring frequently. Once they begin to soften, reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes ensuring that they’re stirred every few minutes so they don’t brown.

  2. Once the onions have softened and are translucent, add the sliced garlic. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes.

  3. Add their cream and thyme and stir to combine. Cook, covered for 10 minutes.

  4. Turn off the heat, remove the thyme and transfer the mixture to a high powered blender. Alternatively you can use an immersion blender.

  5. Pass through a fine sieve and season with salt. Add a bit of grated nutmeg and serve immediately.

What’s Soubise Sauce Served With?

Soubise sauce is great with grilled steak, veal and pork (especially pork ribeye) You can also serve it with baked fish such as cod. Alternatively you can serve it with roasted cauliflower or as we do, with confit and charred leeks.

Soubise sauce served with Pork Ribeye, chives and chive oil
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 of the Best Bars in Montmartre
best bars in montmartre

5 of the Best Bars in Montmartre

The Montmartre area of Paris is home to some of the best bars in the city and

5 of the Best Lebanese Restaurants in Paris
best Lebanese restaurants Paris

5 of the Best Lebanese Restaurants in Paris

If you’re on the hunt for the best Lebanese restaurants in Paris then our

You May Also Like