Wednesday, October 10, 2012

French Onion Soup - Finally!

It’s here! It’s finally here! FRENCH ONION SOUP!

Remember when I first wrote about how awesome this soup is and how bad I wanted to try and make it? Here and then again here. Not only is it delicious, it’s super easy. You just have to be patient. 

This posting is going to have a lot of shout outs. First, to the always amazing Julia Child, who has like 5 variations of this soup in her cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. Second, to my friend Kalie, who just got back from France with her mom, and you can read about it here. Third, to Gina at for the recipe that had way less calories than Julia’s. However, I was missing a few ingredients so there are some substitutes/modifications. 

Also, a shout out goes to my husband, who made mushroom and Swiss grilled-cheese sandwiches to eat with the soup. He thinks it’s cute when I just up and down to celebrate every time someone posts a comment on the blog or via twitter @JenMcT8. (Hint, hint…)

French Onion Soup (modified from
  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 bay leaf (or two small halves since my jar got dropped on the floor and the insides broke)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cups white wine (I used a local Wisconsin white wine)
  • 9 cups beef stock (I used half regular and have low-sodium)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 slice of a French Baguette per serving – about 6 total (or more if you want to soak up the broth)
  • 1 slice of Swiss cheese per serving – about 6 total (I could not find the reduced fat kind)
I got to use my new food scale to weigh the onions!
In a large pot, sauté the onions with the butter over medium heat, until the onions are soft and golden, about 20 minutes. Don’t wimp out on the time. Be patient, otherwise your onions will be too crunchy!
Kalie gave me this happy spoon when she visited last time!
Note the lovely color of the onions.
*Tip for slicing onions: if you are prone to tears while cutting onions, run them under cold water after you peel them and cut them in half.

Add flour, mixing well another 2-3 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaf, wine and brandy, and simmer uncovered for 10 more minutes.
See how the onions are soft? This is after I added the brandy, wine and spices.
Add the beef stock, salt & pepper to taste, reduce heat. Cover and simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Again, BE PATIENT! The original recipe that I found from Julia Child suggested a total of 2 ½ hours of cooking time. This is easy at about 1 hour total time. While this is simmering, you should heat up your oven. I wasn’t sure how hot of an oven my bowls could handle, so I only preheated my oven to 400 degrees instead of full broil.

Almost done!
Remove bay leaf (you might need to stir around to find it if it hasn’t floated on top) and ladle 1-1/2 cups soup into oven-proof bowls. You can probably get about 6 servings out of this. Place bowls on a baking sheet. Place sliced toasted bread rounds into each bowl and top bread with cheese. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the cheese. This is when you gratiné the soup by placing it in the oven to broil (if your bowls can handle it) or bake 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese melts.
Mouth watering, huh?


Husband’s Mushroom and Swiss Grilled Cheese
He added some cheddar for kicks.
  • 6 slices whole wheat bread
  • 5 slices of Swiss cheese (two sandwiches are doubled)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 6-8 baby portabella mushrooms, washed and sliced thin

Slather one side of each piece of bread with butter. Make sure and take the butter out of the fridge so it’s not so hard. Place bread, butter-side-down, in a large skillet. Place cheese on bread. Put the sliced mushrooms on the cheese so there’s an even amount on each. Once the edges of the cheese start to melt over the edge of the bread, put the other half of the bread, butter-side-up, on and flip over (which will make it butter-side-down). Cook until bread is lightly browned and the cheese is melty.


  1. The soup looks delicious and I'm so glad I helped inspire the yummy meal! I'm also so glad the smiley red spoon made it in the post! Love it!! And you!!

  2. Thanks Kalie! The red spoon really does make it feel like you're cooking with a friend!

  3. Thanks Courtney! You'll have to sample some soon!