Friday, March 2, 2012

Soup du Jour

French Onion Soup
    After  a decadent meal of prime rib, baked potatoes and french bread I had a conundrum, what to do with the leftovers?  Dan said the bread wasn't good for anything but to feed the birds.  I accepted this as a challenge to find a resourceful way to use it up.  
     My friend and I used to order French Onion Soup whenever we were out.  I had never dared to make it at home. Of course back then my idea of cooking was to open a can of soup and warm it on the stove.   Here I had a cold winter day without a full schedule so it was the perfect opportunity to delve into a new recipe.

   Rather than using the called for cans of broth, I  simmered the rib bones, celery leaves and a bay leaf with 6 cups of water for about 45 minutes to create beef broth.  In the meantime, I started cooking the onions. I stayed "on recipe" until step 4.
   I took a shortcut at the end  (imagine that) by melting the cheese over the previously toasted bread in the microwave and then spooning the finished soup around it.  The bread really soaked it up.  I was delighted with the outcome.  I didn't think this dish was within my cooking finesse.  It does take a bit of time, but the results are worth the effort.  Bon Appetit!

French Onion Soup
From: Betty Crocker Cookbook

2 tablespoons butter
4 medium onions, sliced
2 cans (10 1/2 ounces each) condensed beef broth
1 1/2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
4 slices French bread, 3/4 to inch thick toasted
1 cup shredded Swiss or mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter in 4-quart nonstick Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Stir in onions to coat with butter. Cook uncovered 10 minutes, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low. cook 35 to 40 minutes longer, stirring well every 5 minutes, until onions are light golden brown (onions will shrink during cooking).
3. Stir in broth, water, pepper, thyme and bay leaf.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
4. Set oven control to broil. Place bread in 4 ovenproof bowls or individual casseroles. Add onion soup. Top with Swiss cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place bowls on cookie sheet or in pan with shallow sides.
5.  Broil with cheese about 5 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes or just until cheese is melted and golden brown.  Watch carefully so cheese does not burn.


  1. I have made this recipe one time, it was delicious, but I won't do it again. It took way to long to saute those onions down! You have to carve out an afternoon to make this recipe. I recently got a bettery crocker slow cooker recipe book and it had a recipe for french onion soup. I'm going to try that.

  2. It certainly was a time consuming recipe. By the time the onions were cooked, I had the bones cooked down for broth. I'm glad I was able accomplish it, but the crockpot is a wonderful time saver. Thanks for the comment!