Posted by: ohmypuddin | April 2, 2010

French Onion Soup

So, remember when we made all the veal stock? We had to cook something with is, and John loves French onion soup, so we made French onion soup.

This recipe is from the same cookbook as the veal stock, Staff Meals. There were some weird things about this recipe. I’m going to give you the recipe and then tell you what I would change.

French Onion Soup by Staff Meals

  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs canola or other vegetable oil
  • 5 large onions, peeled and sliced lengthwise (about 5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup port
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 8 cups veal stock, beef stock or chicken stock
  • Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Crisp croutons and parmesan for garnish

  1. Combine the butter and oil in a medium-large stockpot and heat over low heat. Add the onions and cook, uncovered, until brown but not crisp, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to medium high and cook the onions, uncovered, stirring often, to further brown and caramelize them, 5 to 10 minutes more.
  2. Stir in the port, white wine, and brandy and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook the soup for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve. Top with croutons and parmesan.

OK, so the recipe didn’t work out quite like it was supposed to. The onions didn’t brown enough in the time allotted, because there were a lot of them in that pot. We wound up using two pots to brown them and it took us about 60 minutes, not 30. Also, we topped our with French bread and gruyere and broiled them for a minute in individual soup bowls, like they do in restaurants.

The onions had a lot of liquid in them, which I think prevented them from browning properly. My advice would be to brown them for a few minutes in a big skillet so they can cook evenly, just to cook some of the liquid off first. Then, transfer them to a pot to slowly brown some more.

I forgot to take a photo of the finished product, but it looked kind of like this:

And now we have 21 cups of veal stock remaining. What should we make next?
French Bistro Onion Soup


  1. There is a heavy French influence in parts of New England, so I grew up eating French Onion Soup. I once even had a dream that I was eating extremely cheesy French Onion Soup and that little penguin waiters were going around with scissors cutting the diners cheese strings when they lifted their spoons to their mouths. All this is to say: Mmmm. Great post. So yummy I can almost smell it through the computer.

  2. What to make next? Demi Glace!

  3. MMmmmmm!

    Excellent post.

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