Monday, March 1, 2010

French Onion Soup with Homemade Croutons to start -aka-The tureens and casseroles perfomed Wonderfuly

Warning: this post is very photo heavy and may take some time to load.

I have been puffen' my chest about these great tureens and casseroles I won in Jaz and Teddy's giveaway over at October farms !

Well let me tell you they are a joy to have .. and as promised I made

French Onion Soup with home made croutons
Red Pepper Chicken with Saffron- Black bean Rice
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
( Pardon the ugly cookie sheet I use to catch any drips.. it's a much easier clean up than trying to climb in the oven and clean the bottom of it up.. oh and the 2 tureens with the soup were slipped in just for a moment for the photo)

I will be posting all the recipes for my dishes
but I am starting with the home made croutons and French Onion Soup

There are several recipes out there for French onion soup and several way to Finish it off before serving.. this is just my ol' recipe ( doubt it's original at all, but it's how I was taught to make it) and two of the ways to finish it off.
I want to say , that I have been making these two things long enough I don't really measure so much as eyeball the amounts.. but I will try to give you a ballpark measurement . Just adjust them to your tastes as needed. also i don't cook with allot of salt and if you like you can add a pinch or two of salt to the soup .. for us there is enough salt in the croutons )

Ingredients :

for the soup
1 1/2 pounds sweet yellow onions ( walla-walla and candy are my favs for this)
1 1/2 sticks butter ( unsalted)
1 tablespoon flour
2 1/2 quarts beef broth ( or Large can)
2 bullion cubs
4 to 6 cups water (I use 4, we like it a bit stronger)
1 medium stalk celery
1 to 3 cloves garlic, (I use 2 unless they are small then I use 3)
4 or 5 baby finger carrots ( or 1 medium carrot)
1 cup heavy cream , divided ( 3/4 cup for the pot and 1/4 for the croutons)
2 to 3 cups Parmesans , Swiss or mozzarella cheese, grated
fresh cracked black pepper . ( you can add a pinch or so of salt if you like , I don't)

For the Croutons
( for these croutons I used fresh bread, but I usually make them from day old bread)

about 6 to 10 slices of bread ( rye, dark rye , pumpernickel, wheat or white ...
i prefer a rye swirl when I can find it ( or am able to make it) but I always use a
rye or pumpernickel when the croutons are for french onion soup)
1/2 to 1 stick of salted butter ( depends on how dry your bread is and how much of it you have)
2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil ( depend on the size of your baking sheet)
Worcestershire sauce
soy sauce
teriyaki sauce
Garlic powder
onion powder
fresh cracked pepper

Grate the baby carrots ( they are a bit sweeter as you know so I prefer them to regular sized carrots for this )

dice up the celery
mince the garlic
Slice the sweet yellow onions thin!

(OK, I confess .. I used 1 and 1/2 large candy onions from last fall that I had sliced and placed in the freezer just for a pot of french onion soup )

In a warmed large stock pot or in a large saute pan over medium to medium low heat,
place the olive oil and bring it just to smoking. then add the butter and the onions. Cook till the onions are tender and just at translucent, BUT DON'T let them Brown.

note: when you use onions from the freezer, there will be more liquid that if you use fresh, just be patient and cook down the liquid .

the liquid will go from opaque to translucent when they are ready for the next step.

this is when you stir in the garlic... make a little room in the center of the pan by moving the onions to the sides . then add the garlic and let it cook in the liquid about 60 seconds

next add the celery and stir well

then add the carrots and stir well again

Moving every thing off to the sides, add the flour to the center of the pan and gently whisk till blended then stir all together

Now add the bullion cubs, beef broth and water stirring well after each addition.

note: if you started this in a saute pan add 1/2 cup of the beef broth stir well, then transfer to your stock pot and add the rest of the beef broth and water .

simmer this for 30 to 45 minutes.
remove from heat and stir in 3/4 heavy cream.

While the soup is simmering, make up the croutons.

note: if you do not plan on placing under the broiler to brown the cheese , then you can add all the cream at this point and serve over croutons and topped with cheese.

Drizzle olive oil ( about 2 to 3 tablespoons) over the cookie sheet and use a pastry bush to move it around and coat the whole pan evenly.

mix together about a teaspoon of each:
Garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, cumin, tarragon, fresh cracked pepper.

the butter
(I use the microwave)

lay out the bread pieces but or broken into about 1 inch sized pieces ( more or less)

to the melted butter, add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce.

Drizzle 1/2 the butter mixture over the bread
sprinkle about 1/2 the herb-spice mix over the bread . flip them over and repeat with the butter first then the herb mix.

be sure they are all coated well with the oil, butter and herb mixes

be sure they are in a single layer

place them in the top of the oven at 350 degrease F. for 5 to 7 minutes then flip them all over and place them back in the over for another 3 to 6 minutes till they are toasted golden brown.

place some of the croutons in the tureens or serving bowels

drizzle a bit of the heavy cream over them

add a good ladle ( or 2) of the soup to the tureens

And top with shredded cheese.
Now, I like an egg poached in mine, but the husband doesn't so these tureens made it totally possible to serve them to fit individual needs.

To poach an egg in one, move the cheese to the sides and crack an egg into the center just before putting under the broiler to brown the cheese.
This will take a bit longer than one with out the egg.

Place the tureens under the broiler for about
3 to 5 minutes ( 4 to 7 if there is an egg in it)

Don't let the soup boil.

You can top the soup with extra croutons if you like ! (we do)
and some sour cream if you like ( we don't)

oh... this soup is also realllly good with baby portabellas added in just after the beef broth and water. MMM! MMM! MMM!

well that it, for the soup and crouton part of our dinner... up next ( in the next post) Red pepper chicken with saffron and black bean rice..

Tasty Blessings
Ma Fey


  1. yum yum... french onion soup is the bomb and your recipe looks so good... never had it with an egg but hey I am game for anything.. thanks for the recipe