Sauce Soubise

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Preparation info

  • Makes

    2¼ cups

    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Canon of Vegetables

A Canon of Vegetables

By Raymond Sokolov

Published 2007

  • About

Sauce Soubise is named after a noble house. Its first famous member was Benjamin, de Rohan, Due de Soubise (1583–1642), leader of the Protestant faction during the reign of Louis XIII. He or his even more illustrious descendant, Prince Charles (1715–1782), a general defeated by Frederick the Great at Rossbach, may have taken credit for this onion coulis that goes so well with almost any meat or fish, but which is best known as a constituent of veal Prince Orloff. He also hired the architect Pierre Alexis Delamair to build the Hôtel de Soubise in Paris (1704), which now shelters the French National Archives.


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound onions, peeled and chopped fine
  • cup raw long-grain rice
  • 2⅔ cups whole milk
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • Sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy 6-cup casserole over medium heat. Add the onions, cover, reduce the heat, and cook slowly, without browning, for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, the milk, and pinches of the salt, the white pepper, and the sugar. Bring to a boil, cover the casserole, and put it in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes. The rice will have absorbed most of the liquid and turned into a gruel or congee.
  4. Process the mixture and then force it through a fine strainer into a saucepan. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the heavy cream. Stir together over low heat. Serve as a puree alongside roast chicken, veal, turkey, or as a filling in omelets.


Beat in 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, or more, until you have achieved a color and taste you like.

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