French Onion Soup

Awhile back (when it was still cold!) my mom came to visit us.  It’s always nice having her here and the time passes so quickly.  To give you an idea of how low maintenance she is while here in terms of us entertaining her, during this visit she insisted on having me re-caulk our shower with her help her first day here.  This involved multiple trips to the hardware store, thoroughly cleaning our shower, scraping out the old nasty caulk, withstanding fumes and applying new caulk in its place – not one’s average vacation activity.  But that’s my mom — always a very productive house guest!

a rare moment of rest for two Energizer Bunnies

She prefers to eat in rather than out, and when I asked her what she’d like me to cook, she said:  “All those dishes from your blog.”  So I found myself in the curious position of role reversal with me morphing into a “‘mom” cooking and baking for my mom.  I fed her a bunch of old favorites I’ve already written about, such as popovers, German Chocolate cake, chicken enchiladas, almond dessert cups with ice cream, miso green beans, shrimp toast, mini pizzas, avocado dip… and a number of dishes I haven’t had time to post yet.  This French Onion Soup is one of them.  It is crazy because I have a lot of photos and recipes but haven’t yet written about them due to a sudden increase of work.  I’m not complaining, but I do feel the need to apologize for the infrequent and out of season postings!

It is already humid here on the east coast, but if you are in a cooler climate, this is a hearty soup to warm you up.  Actually, it is pretty good in an air conditioned apartment too. 🙂  It is a combination of several recipes — I took the parts that I liked from Ina Garten’s (the cognac and wine and beef and chicken broth combos) and from Patricia Wells’ Bistro Cooking version (braising cooking method and using less butter–I thought a whole stick was overkill!)

French Onion Soup

1 ½ pounds onions, sliced thin

2 tablespoons butter (1 ¼ oz.)

kosher salt

1 bay leaf

½ cup sherry

¼ cup cognac

1 ½ cups white wine

3 cups chicken broth

2 cups beef broth

18 slices of day old baguette

3 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese (or more depending on your taste)

  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add onions, bay leaf, and salt to taste and sauté until softened.  Add sherry and cognac and braise, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes.
  2. Add white wine and simmer for about 15 more minutes.
  3. Add broths and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
  4. Ladle soup into oven proof bowls.  Lay 3 slices of baguette on top of soup.  Cover with shredded cheese.
  5. Broil in oven for about 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling.
  6. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings


Filed under Dinner, Soup, Vegetables

10 responses to “French Onion Soup

  1. You have an awesome mom!! She reminds me of my sweet mother 🙂 The soup looks delicious and would be perfect for today, it is pouring outside, here in DR. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  2. Si

    Jsut looked over your site. So fun. Love your children’s books. And your mom is darling too.

  3. Hi Melissa, We are in synch once again! I just made French onion soup for my family this past week but your recipe is much fancier than mine. 🙂 It looks delicious! I love the photo of your mom and Jaime. They are both so adorable! Have a great week!

  4. Mothers are so productive. My mom is in town and within just a few days has reorganized almost everything and made it perfect. Dad loves French onion soup, so we will have to give this a go!

  5. French Onion Soup is amazing any time of year and this looks fantastic! Such a wonderful photo of your mother and son, lovely 🙂

  6. Love the pic of your mom and son!! She sounds nothing less than absolute lovely. 🙂

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