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Today's Case:

French Onion Soup

Re: Onion soup
From: Terry
Date: 1/4/2024, 3:39 PM
To: Phaedrus 

On 1/4/2024 10:39 PM, Terry wrote:

 Hi Phaedrus 
I am looking for a good recipe for onion soup if you can help me thank you

Hello Terry,

Terry, you must be more specific. What kind of onion soup? There are several kinds on my site and dozens of different recipes for onion soup on the web. I have no idea which one to send you.

Have you had an onion soup that you liked? Where did you have it? At a restaurant? Which restaurant? What was it like? Was it "French" Onion Soup? 

"Good" is relative. What's good to me might taste awful to you. You must narrow it down for me. People's tastes are different, and "onion soup" is a broad topic.


 On 1/5/2024 2:45 PM, Terry wrote:
I had a real good one at the restrauant Cats Meow in Lancaster Pa a few years ago.
I also like the cheese on top and the croutons and a lot of onions  Thank You

Hi Terry,

Much better. Now I know what to look for, although I could not find a French onion soup recipe from the "Cat's Meow." It's actually in a suburb of Lancaster called "Manheim" isn't it? All that I could find from there is a copy of the menu with this description: "Crock of Baked French Onion (Soup)."

See below for three recipes of different complexities. One of them should be close.


Classic French Onion Soup

  1 stick butter (8 Tablespoons) 
  8 cups onions, thinly sliced 
  3 Tablespoons flour 
  3 quarts beef stock 
  1 Tablespoon salt 
  1 teaspoon pepper 
  1 cup brandy 
  1 teaspoon BV meat glaze (or kitchen bouquet, in a pinch) 
  grated Gruyere cheese 
  grated Parmesan cheese 
  French bread 
  olive oil 

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven and add the onions, stirring constantly.
Cook for 5-7 minutes, until soft. In the meantime, cut slices of French 
bread into 1/2 inch pieces and toast them at 350 degrees in the oven for 
about 15 minutes--until they are dry crusts.
When the onions are soft, sprinkle them with flour, stir, then add 2 cups 
of beef stock and stir until the mixture is thickened. Add the remaining 
stock, stir into 1 Tablespoon of salt, the pepper, and the brandy. Bring 
to a boil. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour to an hour. Add the meat glaze 
and taste for seasoning. 

When you're ready to serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls and cover
each with a thick handful of Gruyere cheese. Top each with a piece of the 
toasted bread, which has been drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle it with the
Parmesan, then run them under a broiler for a few minutes and carry out to 
the table. 
  French Onion Soup
  1/4 cup butter or margarine
  3 large onions, sliced
  1 teaspoon white sugar
  1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  2 1/2 cups water
  1/2 cup red wine
  2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed beef broth
  1 long loaf French bread
  1 (8 ounce) package Swiss cheese slices
  1   Melt butter or margarine in a 4 quart saucepan. Stir in sugar. 
  Cook onions over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.  
  2   Stir in flour until well blended with the onions and pan juices. 
  Add water, wine, and beef broth; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. 
  Cover soup, and simmer for 10 minutes.  
  3   Cut four 1 inch thick slices of bread from the loaf. Toast the bread 
  slices at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) just until browned, about 10 
  minutes. Reserve the remaining bread to serve with the soup.  
  4   Ladle soup into four 12 ounce, oven-safe bowls. Place 1 slice toasted 
  bread on top of the soup in each bowl. Fold Swiss cheese slices, and fit 
  onto toasted bread slices. Place soup bowls on a cookie sheet for easier 
  5   Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or just until 
  cheese is melted   Makes 4 servings  
  Quickie French Onion Soup

   To make this recipe make sure you have four soup crocks, since each 
   serving is broiled in it's own bowl. One last hint, fried minced garlic 
   is available at a local Asian grocery stores or you can saute your own. 
  3 (10 ounce) cans condensed chicken broth
  2 (10 ounce) cans condensed beef broth
  1 large Spanish onion, sliced into thin rings
  2 tablespoons fried minced garlic
  1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1 (1 ounce) package Au Jus gravy mix
  1 to 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  1   In a skillet, saute sliced onions in butter, over medium heat, 
  until a caramel color is reached (any onion that is burned during this 
  process should be discarded).  
  2   Combine chicken an beef broth in a 2 quart saucepan. Add fried garlic, 
  fresh ground pepper and sauted onions. Bring the soup mixture to a boil 
  and then simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in the packaged gravy 
  mix and simmer for another 10 minutes.  
  3   Turn on oven broiler and divide soup and onions between 4 oven safe 
  soup crocks. Place several croutons on the top of the soup followed by 
  two slices of Swiss cheese on top of the croutons. Make sure that the 
  cheese does not sink into the soup. Place soup crocks on a cookie sheet 
  and place under the broiler. Broil until the cheese is golden brown and 
  bubbling. Let cool slightly before serving and enjoy.  
  Makes 4 servings