Monday, November 21, 2011

Leslie's French Onion Soup "Recipe"

Last week, Thursday specifically, I went on a bit of a cooking spree. It's my favorite way to spend a day off.

After drooling over the idea of french onion soup with the roommate, and then witnessing a friend devour a good lookin' cup the following weekend...the time came. I requested my mom's recipe, one that is superbly savory and is a real flavor punch to the mouth. It's more like an onion stew than a brothy soup, but a little sweet without being bitter or overwhelming.

Here is the "recipe" she sent me, unedited (though I included  a few personal notes in small italics):

Leslie's French Onion Soup

lots of different onions (enough to fill dutch oven)
butter and olive oil
lea and perrins (good amt) Worcestershire sauce
bay leaf x 2
beef consomme x 2   I subsituted with a box of organic beef broth
beef broth (lots)
dry sherry (add into soup when mixing)
touch of white wine (about ½ cup)  I used about half of the bottle...rather, I used the whole bottle, but the other half went directly into my drinking chalice.
salt and pepper 
toasted french bread
*texted addendum from my mom: "take the time to caramelize the onions. it takes a long time over medium heat, but it adds a ton of flavor. the white wine and lea & perrins are absolutely essential!"

The lack of quantity and order of operations was a little daunting, as I've never made this soup before, but I succeeded despite my recipe adversity! Fortunately, as an only child, I spent a lot of time helping my mom cook and understand her cooking style. Extra garlic, extra pepper, and taste taste taste!

If you think you might want to try this out, I can absolutely estimate for you the quantities I used. Still, I think it's a fun challenge to gather the ingredients and do a little flavor problem-solving.

Above is only half of the amount of onions we used, which totaled about 5lbs in the end. We caramelized them in two batches to make things easier.

I also made very, very delicious and very, very ugly spanakopita (Greek spinach & feta pie), combining these two recipes I found on Punchfork. Three observations: 1) Phyllo dough is hard to work with! 2) Lemon juice in the filling is an essential special touch, but I skipped the nutmeg and parsley 3) Resist the temptation to take it out of the oven until all of it is a really nice golden brown. 


  1. Do I always look like I have a neck tumor?

  2. This looks tasty! I really need to figure out my way around the kitchen one of these days.

  3. Yes, Jake. Always.

    Carissa, no need to bother with such non-sense. Just come to me and I'll do all the kitchen work while you entertain the kittehs.

  4. hmmm (mmmmmmmm), yeah I could see this going toe to toe with tic toc's famous bowl. Jake, congratulations on your new goiter!