Sunday, February 19, 2012

Barefoot in the Kitchen with French Onion Soup...

For Valentines day I decided to cook dinner. We didn't really have the money to go out (and frankly neither of us wanted to deal with the crowds) and since the husband has been doing most of the cooking recently, I figured it would be a nice change.

The husband and I love French Onion soup and I've been wanting to make it for awhile but just never had the guts to really do it. For Christmas my mother in law bought me the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook and it actually had a recipe for French Onion soup in it that seemed really easy, so I decided to give it a shot.

First problem: it calls for four onions, and, while we always have onions in the house, I have yet to find a way to chop them up without tearing up.

Caramelizing/browning the onions wasn't so hard, but it did take a bit longer than I expected. In the recipe they say it should only take about 15 minutes, in actuality it took about 30 (and that was with my burner turned on high)

Second problem: the recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon of flour. I got confused and put in a cup of flour, then didn't realize my mistake until I asked the husband "It says four cups right?" and he reminded me what the correct amount was. Crud. I added the broth and the water hoping that the soup would still be salvageable - it wasn't. The husband had to go back to the store to get more beef stock and I started the process of caramelizing/browning the onions again.

This time things turned out a bit better: the onions still took forever to caramelize but I remembered to add the right amount of flour, and with a little more salt than the recipe called for, we had French Onion soup.

The recipe also came with instructions on how to make croutons for the soup - we cheated and bought our own. Also, instead of using parmesian cheese like the recipe called for, we decided to use some Irish cheddar we had in the fridge. 

I want to get one of those little propane torches, so that way next time I can toast some gruyere cheese across the top like other recipes call for. I also want to try out adding some thyme and some basil leaves for a little more flavor. 

But next, I think I'm going to try my hand at making split pea soup from scratch...


  1. I need to start cooking more. I used to love doing it, and I have a ton of cookbooks that I never use.


  2. I always knew how to cook, but I was never a really big cook until we moved to our current apartment. We have a gas stove here (our old place had an electric stove) so it makes things a lot easier. You wouldn't think that it does, but it does!

    I started off making hamburger helper since it's easy, and you can do almost anything to it (like adding onions or garlic) and it's impossible to screw up. From there I've gotten braver, though learning to make brown butter and sea salt cookies helped a lot. If I can brown butter and not burn it then there's nothing I can't do lol!