Casual Cookery – French Onion Soup

We may be geeks, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to create great things in the kitchen. Some of the best dishes – even snacks! – can be made quickly and easily as long as you know what you’re doing. Let’s get cooking!

One of the first things I learned how to cook from a recipe book was a vegetarian French onion soup. At the time my wife, then my girlfriend, was vegetarian, so using beef broth was out. But now that she’s gone back to eating meat, I still make things the vegetarian way because I think the soup tastes better with the vegetarian broth.

Full disclosure, I use this recipe as a basis for the dish, while making a few tweaks here and there, mainly to work with my impatience.

Heat up the oil and butter while you chop up the onions. Once the onions are chopped up, put them in a bowl and mince a couple of garlic cloves over the onion to prepare it to throw in to the pot of oil and butter.

Add the salt and stir the onions until they’re tender and brown. The recipe says it’s 50-60 minutes, but it never seems to take that long for me. It usually feels right around 25 minutes. In this phase of the cooking, I like to add a little bit of crushed cayenne pepper to give the mixture a little bit of kick. It’s unusual, but it adds a lot to the taste of the soup.

Mix in the flour for a couple of minutes and then add in the broth. Instead of using actual broth, I prefer to use two cups of water with three vegetable bouillon cubes, stirred well into the water. Throw in the sherry and the mustard and let it simmer for 15 minutes and you’ve got one hell of a tasty soup. That whole step with the bread on top with the cheese in a broiler? That’s excessive. Pour your soup into a bowl, cut some slices of Italian bread topped with some brie and you’re good to go for a delicious meal.