Cheap, Easy, Crazy Good – French Onion Soup

When I go out to the restaurant and order French Onion Soup I always feel like royalty. After all – they went to all that trouble to make it for me, right?
Well here’s how I made French Onion Soup recently.  It was really easy – and delicious. Do this for yourself and your family, you deserve it.

Homemade French Onion Soup

Homemade French Onion Soup

You will need: Chicken stock, day old bread, a large sweet onion and sliced lacy swiss cheese (baby swiss).

FIRST OF ALL– I often buy a precooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Great for two or more meals, the last of which is great homemade chicken stock.

THE BROTH – BE PATIENT —  After the family has picked at the chicken I’ll pull most of the remaining meat off (saved in the fridge) and then drop all of the bones (discarding the skin and fat) into a dutch oven; cover with water and bring to a boil. Do the dishes or clean something while the pot heats up- there’s always something to do in the kitchen besides watch a pot come to a boil.

Let that water boil without a lid and stir every now and then- you want to reduce the liquid as the stock colors the water. Add salt and veges to the water as well- coarsely cut carrots, celery, onion… especially anything in the crisper that’s past it’s prime. I found some celery that was fine for the stock, but it had lost it’s “crisp”. Keep stirring, and taste the broth as you go (very important – you want your broth flavorful, so taste often).  I added salt, pepper and herbs de provence as I heated and stirred.

When the broth is rich in color remove the bones and the veges (set aside).  Strain the broth into a bowl to remove the remaining solids, then pour the broth back into the pan.

For this batch of stock I discarded the bones, took some of the soggy celery and onion pieces and pureed them in a food processor (add some of the broth as you puree until it basically liquified the veges).  Stir that back into the broth.  This adds body and depth to the soup.  [NOTE: This colored my broth green, so I did add a bit of “Better Than Bouillon” Beef Base for color and to lift the flavor even more.].  Allow the broth to cool and place it in the fridge for later use.

FRENCH ONION SOUP – Coursly cut some Vidalia (sweet) onion into a pan and cover with broth – heat the amount of stock you need for each bowl.  While the onion tenderizes in the broth place day old bread slices in the bottom of oven proof bowls.  When the broth is very hot and the onions are tender portion the soup over the bread slices.  Top each bowl with lacy baby swiss cheese.  Place the bowls under the boiler until the cheese is bubbly and begins to brown.

Comments?  Suggestions?  I’d love to hear from you – enjoy!  ~TH~

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