French Onion Soup - simple to make + rich in flavor

French Onion Soup - rich and full of flavor

French Onion Soup - rich and full of flavor

The secret to a rich French onion soup is caramelized onions. By taking the time to caramelize the onions you will be rewarded with sweet rich brown flavors. This recipe uses simple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry.

Slice the onions about 1/4 inch thick

Slice the onions about 1/4 inch thick

The onions need to be cooked until they are golden brown

The onions need to be cooked until they are golden brown

Serves 6

Ingredients

Butter – 4 tbsp
Onions – 5 medium onions – slice thin about 1/4” thick
Sugar - ½ tsp
Salt ¼ tsp
Flour - 2 tbsp – or gluten free - substitute a slurry of 1 tbsp cornstarch and 1tbsp water
Beef broth – 4 cups or 1 box – vegans can substitute with vegetable broth
Bay Leaf – 2 leaves
Thyme - 2 tsp
Salt + Pepper – to taste
Sherry – ½ cup or substitute with brandy, sake or a dry white wine
French bread – about ½ baguette
Gruyere Cheese – 4 oz grated
Parmesan – 4 oz grated   

Directions

Melt the butter in a heavy bottom pan, add onions. Cook on medium-low for about 25 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the sugar and salt and stir often until are golden brown and caramelized, about 15 minutes. They will be very soft and sticky. Sprinkle the flour over the caramelize onions and cook it for a couple of minutes – or add the slurry. Add sherry, Nutmeg and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the bread about ½” thick, top with mixture of Parmesan and Gruyere cheese and lightly toast under the broiler then top with cheese and continue to broil until it is bubbling and melted.

Remove the bay leaves, ladle the hot soup into bowls, place the bread on top and serve.

brown the bread before adding the cheeses

brown the bread before adding the cheeses

Mushroom Soup - Quick + Earthy

I can make this soup in about 30 minutes. It’s rich and filling. It is a vegetarian recipe that is gluten free with vegan options.

I use organic whenever possible

I use organic whenever possible

It’s all about the mushrooms -

I use fresh frozen and dried and whatever I have on hand. Any combination always comes out delicious.

Frozen mushrooms don’t need to thaw.

Dried mushrooms - soak in water for about 15 minutes. I forage morel’s and dry them.

Fresh mushrooms - simply wipe any dirt off fresh mushrooms with a soft cloth. You don’t need to thaw frozen mushrooms.

Tips

You can use Better Than Bouillon Mushroom Base. It’s saltier than most box broths, so adjust salt to taste.

Vegan’s can add vegetable broth, omit the butter and use your favorite plain nut milk.

Add a little sherry to liven up the flavors

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, creme fraiche or chopped chives

Serve with a crisp green salad or grilled cheese sandwich.

My friend Lynn says “Every soup begins with leeks.” This soup starts with leeks and then I add celery

My friend Lynn says “Every soup begins with leeks.” This soup starts with leeks and then I add celery

Rich and Creamy Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

Mushrooms - 2 cups - any combination of fresh, frozen and/or dried - chopped
Celery -2-6 ribs - I like celery so go for 6 ribs and include some of the leaves - sliced
Leeks -  1-2 stalks - washed and chopped
Garlic - 3-6 cloves - peeled and minced
Thyme - 1 tsp dry fresh or 1 tbsp dried
Olive oil -1 tablespoon
Butter - 1 tablespoon (omit for vegan and add another tablespoon of olive oil)
Mushroom broth - 1 box
Heavy cream - 1 pint (omit for vegan or use your favorite unsweetened nut milk)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Saute leeks, celery and garlic in oil and butter until translucent. Add thyme and mushrooms and cook until soft. Add mushroom broth and heavy cream. Heat and serve.

Beautiful mushroom soup!

Beautiful mushroom soup!

I add my herbs when sauteing. I thinks they infuse their flavors into the veggies.

I add my herbs when sauteing. I thinks they infuse their flavors into the veggies.

Tips

I stock up on mushroom broth, but you can substitute chicken or vegetable broth.

Milk: I rarely have fresh milk, but keep a supply of canned evaporated milk, boxed unsweetened nut or hemp milks. I even a boxed whipped cream. I use what works for the recipe and more importantly my taste.

Butter: I keep a back up pound of butter in my freezer.

Vegetables: I almost always have fresh carrots, celery, onions and garlic in the refrigerator. Add a minced carrot for color and sweet

Mushrooms: I forage morels that I dry and store in quart jars. I buy portabella and cremini when they are on sale and I know I'll have time to process them. Wipe the mushroom free of dirt, slice and place on parchment paper is a cool dry location. Turn every 12 hours (or so) until dry. Store in canning jars. Rehydrate in water or broth until soft and ready to use.  Or slice and freeze.

For more information on drying mushrooms the Mushroom Appreciation has several methods.  https://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/drying-mushrooms.html

Re-hydrating Dried Mushrooms only takes 15 Minutes

Put dried mushroom in a bowl of water to rehydrate.

Put dried mushroom in a bowl of water to rehydrate.

Morels after about 15 minutes. Plump and ready to use.

Morels after about 15 minutes. Plump and ready to use.