The Cool Kids

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oui Oui!!

Today was a beautiful day. A little sun, a light wind and people beginning to walk a little slower through the neighborhood. Ah, Spring is coming, I just know it. As I type this I'm remembering back to this past Saturday...when we were gifted with a foot of new snow. Ugh. The eldest went sledding with her friends, and our two boys decided to help their dad dig out the driveway. The youngest is sick of shoveling and he's only six. Unless he plans a move to somewhere near the equator, the boy might as well learn how to de-ice the steps and shovel around his sister's car.

While they stayed busy with the cold activities, I stayed in and made hot cocoa and soup. Who doesn't love soup on a cold day? I decided on French Onion Soup. It is one of my favorite kinds of soups to make and eat. It also happens to be one of the only things with the word "french" in it that I know how to cook.

You want "french" fries? Map quest yourself to the nearest McDonald's. Want "french toast?" Give my grandma in Michigan a call. She not only makes the best french toast, she can cut it up like a samurai warrior; faster than you can ask for syrup. You want "french vanilla bean ice cream? I can give you the number of our Schwan's man. Their ice cream is to die for. ....but until then, give this a try. It is a wonderful, comfort food. I hope you like it.

Ingredients for French Onion Soup (feeds 5)
1 medium onion (white)
2-3 purple onions. I'm not sure why I use different onions, I just always have.
1-2 boxes of beef broth or stock- this depends on whether you like your soup more liquid-y (add two boxes) I like mine more dense, so I use one.
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 to 1 cup of a red wine. Sherry is often used as well as a port. I used what I had-This was a deep red zinfandel. 1/2-1 cup in the pot, however much is left can be used for a glass...
1/2 stick of butter, salted
pinch of sugar
A stiff loaf of french or Italian bread
Parmesan cheese
Gruyere or provolone cheese 

1. Skin and chop onion in to small slices. Put all onion pieces and butter into a pan and let them sweat at medium heat. The purple color of the onions will fade. At this time,  I add a pinch of sugar to the onions and let caramelize at the bottom of the pan.  You can flip the onions until reduced.
15-20 minutes

2. Slice up your bread and lay flat on a cookie sheet. You can butter the tops and spread about a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese on each one. Set oven at 350 degrees.

3. When onions are reduced/soft (not burned), add 1/2 to 1 cup of the wine to the onions and stir in the pan, making sure to pick up the caramelization from the bottom. I do this with a side of a fork. If you do not like or have wine, feel free to use condensed beef broth in its place. If using wine, remember, you need to simmer the liquid between 45-60 minutes to completely burn of the alcohol. (I'm feeding kids..) Of course, we are also broiling the soup- but keep that in mind. Many people are under the impression that the alcohol automatically burns off.

4. Put the bread in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted...

5. Add broth and Worcestershire sauce to the onion soup pan. If your pan is not big enough to hold soup, transfer to a bigger pot. The man loves mushrooms soaked in the wine/onion mixture, so they are sharing the stove top for a bit.. When the soup starts to boil, reduce heat and simmer for as long as you'd like. I usually start assembling the soup after 45-60 minutes of simmering. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. After sixty minutes,  pour the soup into oven-safe bowls. On top of that,  set one of the cheese breads you made earlier. Now, you can lay the last piece of cheese on top of the bowl, covering the soup. As you can see, none of my bowls are the same. Someone in the family doesn't like wet bread. Another person doesn't like melted cheese (WHAT?) Another likes double bread...You'd think I run a Denney's...
Anyway, set these bowls on a cookie sheet and broil for about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the cheese and don't let it burn. When nice and brown, take out of the oven and cool just a bit. Warn kids that the bowls are HOT!!! Serve with extra bread and crackers. As picky as the family is, they at least agree that the onion soup is yummy and fun to dip the extra bread in. Oh, they kind of like that I fed them at all.. For now....

Do you make onion soup? Do you have an idea on how to improve the recipe? Are you ready for barbecues and picnics yet? Uh huh. Me too.....

Happy Thursday, friends :)


  1. Wow! Go you! I made a boxed Gerber meal, toast and a bowl of hash today. I think Quinn will be moving in with you soon. :)

  2. I flunked French class in high school, remember? Here all along I thought it was "wee wee"!! ;)
    I will have to give this a try. Looks delish!!
    And you ask if I'm ready for BBQ's and picnics yet? Ha! I live in the grand 'ol mitten state where we cook outdoors in -30 degree weather and 3 ft of snow!! Lol! Seriously, I am so ready for spring! Sadly we have more snow on the way this weekend! Boo! On the up-side of living in Michigan, wait 10 minutes and it could be 70 and sunny! =}
    Miss you! Thanks for the recipe!
    Your FF

  3. K, you must know that last night's menu came from SUbWAY and the night before that was from the home of the Shamrock Shake... I've not been succeeding in the healthy-home-cooked-meal department... Hash sounds yummy; you know I love that!! F.F., They don't even offer French here! But I do recall BBQ-ing in boots and gloves.... <3 to you girls..


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