Saturday, September 25, 2010

French Onion Soup A La Karen

Karen sends her posts from Burbank, CA

Here's what I did to come up with this recipe.
First I made The Barefoot Contessa's French Onion Soup a few times. (Although I never used Veal stock because who the hell sells that and I just couldn't bring myself to hunt it down......sort of speak.)
Then I made Paula Deen's French Onion Soup a few times.
Then I made this one because they said it's The Best French Onion Soup Ever.
Then I made this one because I enjoy
And then a few more.

Photo of me about a year ago taken by my unbelieving Hubby.

The most difficult part, for me, about making French onion soup is chopping the onions. I've tried doing it while running water, wearing glasses, holding my breath, just powering through it and then I borrowed Hubby's respirator. NONE of these things stopped me from crying. Then a friend told me to just shut my mouth while chopping. (I'd rather wear the respirator) This actually worked pretty well. Ah the jokes from Hubby, they just never stop.

After all this research I came up with my version. Hubby has tried them all and he said this is the best French Onion Soup he's ever had. I have to agree.


* 3 pounds of onions, halved and slice 1/4-inch thick
* 1 stick of unsalted butter.
* 1 bay leaf
* 1/2 cup of dry Vermouth
* 1/2 cup of Brandy
* 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
* 4 cups of chicken stock
* 4 cups of beef stock
* salt (to taste)
* pepper (to taste)
* Fresh loaf of French bread
* Gruyere cheese


In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, saute onions with the butter and bay leaf until golden brown. (This takes me 40 to 50 minutes sometimes.) Deglaze the pan with the Vermouth and Brandy and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer uncovered for 20 more minutes. Add the chicken and beef broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove and discard bay leaf.
Slice French bread into 1 inch slices.
Ladle soup into ovenproof bowl, add one slice of French bread with slices of Gruyere cheese on top. Place ovenproof bowl on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes under a hot broiler.

For my 4 year old, I don't put the dish in the oven. I just put some cheese in the soup and it kind of melts on it's own and cools down the soup at the same time. He has been known to down 3 bowls of this soup in one sitting. (Obviously all the alcohol is burned off during cooking time.)

Serve with the rest of the bread.



  1. WOW, I love that footed tureen!
    French onion soup is amazing. I found my 'definitive' recipe through Alton Brown; it's the most similar to my remembered childhood favorite from the Brown Derby. Pretty close to your recipe actually. :-)

  2. Love the gas soup sounds delicious!!! As for the onions, I heard that if you put them in the freezer for about 15-20 min to get them really cold; no more crying. Don't know if it works, just thought I'd pass it on.

  3. have you tried keeping your onions in the fridge? i know, it sounds overly simple but i had the same issue as you (i used to wear my husbands old goggles until they filled with tears) but then i read to just store my onions in the fridge and it changed everything. i can't remember why. (ok this might be the same as the freezer thing mentioned above - except w/o the planning ahead).

  4. i breathe from the mouth, wear swimming goggles and light a candle which i keep next to the onions as i chop...

  5. I have made this one before and it is quite D-lish, but it didn't look nearly as good as yours!!! There is another recipe out there where you roast the onions in a Dutch oven for 2 1/2 hours, and you use sherry wine.

    Btw, I have the fool proof way to prevent tears.

    Order the onions pre-sliced.


  6. Sounds D-lish! LOL that is the fool proof way to prevent tears:)