Thursday, September 8, 2011

French Onion Soup

This month's Daring Cooks Challenge was to prepare a bouillon of our choice from scratch. Luckily the weather was getting cooler and soup became an option. Onion soup is a family favorite, so I decided to go with it. I chose to prepare a vegetable bouillon for the soup. Let me say that it was so not worth the effort! After cutting up all those veggies, I basically got hot water with a slightly sweet celery and leek flavor   :-(
So I ended up putting beef bouillon cubes in the soup to get some flavor. After that, the soup was yummy. Especially all the melted cheese on top.

vegetable bouillon
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, minced
2 leeks, julienned
4 carrots, julienned
2 turnips, julienned
4 celery stalks, julienned
2 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, not peeled
8 black peppercorns
6-8 sprigs parsley

onion soup
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 kg onions, diced
2 tbsp flour
1 liter vegetable or beef bouillon
salt and pepper
2 tbsp sherry
croûtons and grated Gruyère cheese for garnish

For the bouillon, heat the oil in a large pot. Add onion, leeks, carrots, turnips, and celery. Toss well so that all vegetables are covered with oil. Cover pot and cook vegetables for 5 minutes. Add 3 liters of water and bring to a boil. Remove foam, add bay leaves, garlic, pepper, and parsley. Simmer for 1 hour. Pass the bouillon through a fine mashed strainer, squeezing the vegetables to extract all the liquid. Let cool down and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the soup, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Still stirring, add the bouillon. Keep stirring while you bring the soup to a boil. Simmer until the onions have the desired softness, about 5-10 more minutes. Season to taste with sherry, salt and pepper. Ladle soup into oven-proof bowls. Top with a handful of croûtons and 3-4 tbsp cheese. Broil in the oven until cheese is melted and starting to brown, about 3-4 minutes.


  1. Looks wonderful! I'd like a bowl of soup. Yum!

  2. Sorry to hear that the veggie stock didn't work out but marvellous that the final soup was a winner nice photo as well. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  3. i have only tried once onion soup and liked it, now i ve the recipe.. tx:)

  4. I'm sorry your stock didn't turn out but I'm glad your soup did!

  5. I have never tried making french onion soup at home before though I like it a lot. I should try this recipe... it looks really simple :)

  6. Even the vegetable bouillon didn't work as you expected, your soup looks wonderful. The cheese in the top makes it so yummy...

  7. I adore French onion soup and can't even imagine trying it with vegetable bouillon. It's the beef stock that provides the heartiness. Well, that and the masses of oozing cheese.

    It looks so fantastic though. Now I need to make some!