Monday, December 12, 2016

{soups-salads-and-salad-dressings} Alton's French Onion Soup PLUS Famous Barr's French Onion Soup


French Onion Soup  

There is no end of different recipes for this divine soup!

I remember, when I was a young girl, my mom taking me to down town St. Louis to Famous-Barr (Now Macy’s) and we’d go to the fourth (?) floor and have French Onion Soup.  To this day it’s one of my favorite memories and favorite soups.  I felt so grown up.  I hate raw onions, but usually keep some caramelized onions in the fridge for topping burgers, steaks, etc.  YUM

TOTAL TIME: 2 hours

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 hour 45 minutes

YIELD: 8 servings



5 sweet onions (like Vidalia’s) or a combination of sweet and red onions (about 4 pounds)

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups white wine

10 ounces canned beef consommé

10 ounces chicken broth

10 ounces apple cider (unfiltered is best)

Bouquet garni; thyme sprigs, bay leaf and parsley tied together with kitchen string

1 loaf country style bread

Kosher salt

Ground black pepper

Splash of Cognac (optional)

1 cup Fontina or Gruyere cheese, grated



Trim the ends off each onion then halve lengthwise. Remove peel and finely slice into half-moon shapes. Set electric skillet to 300 degrees and add butter. Once butter has melted add a layer of onions and sprinkle with a little salt. Repeat layering onions and salt until all onions are in the skillet. Do not try stirring until onions have sweated down for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, stir occasionally until onions are dark mahogany and reduced to approximately 2 cups. This should take 45 minutes to 1 hour. Do not worry about burning.

Add enough wine to cover the onions and turn heat to high, reducing the wine to a syrup consistency. Add consommé, chicken broth, apple cider and bouquet garni. Reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.

Place oven rack in top 1/3 of oven and heat broiler.

Cut country bread in rounds large enough to fit mouth of oven safe soup crocks. Place the slices on a baking sheet and place under broiler for 1 minute.

Season soup mixture with salt, pepper and cognac. Remove bouquet garni and ladle soup into crocks leaving one inch to the lip. Place bread round, toasted side down, on top of soup and top with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

Famous-Barr's French Onion Soup

Manfred Zettl's St Louis/Famous-Barr onion soup, sent to me by my Aunt Dot). (I had an Aunt Dot too growing up!)


3 pounds sliced onion, 1/8" thick

4 ounces unsalted butter

2 tablespoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse-ground black pepper

2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

1/4 cup flour

3 quarts beef stock

1 cup white wine

1 bay leaf

24 slices crusty French bread

2 cups Swiss cheese, grated


1. Peel onions, cut in half, then in half again, then in 1/8" slices. (usually a 5 lb bag of onions peeled will equal 3 lbs)

2. In large soup pot, melt butter. Add onions and sauté over low heat, until translucent, about 1 1/2 hours

3. Add paprika, salt & pepper to onions, blend well

4. Add flour & stir constantly to combine to roux

5. Add beef stock, wine & bay leaves, stir to combine

6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours

7. (optional) Add kitchen bouquet for rich brown color

8. Check for seasoning and adjust to taste

9. Put in icebox overnight

Proper serving: Heat soup. Fill individual fireproof bowls with 8oz of soup, top with three slices of (Famous Barr) French bread and 1 1/2 oz grated Swiss cheese. Place under broiler approx 550°, until cheese starts to brown and soup bubbles.


As you waste your breath complaining about life, someone out there is breathing their last.

Appreciate what you have.

Be thankful and stop complaining.

Live more, complain less.

Have more smiles, less stress.



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