Cooking Classes


French Onion Soup for the Soul

You can see a pattern here. I am gradually coming back to my blog. More importantly as the season of the market ends I can come back to your blogs. You and I cannot imagine the work it is to be a farmers' market vendor. I am definitely making changes for next summer. First of all I will purchase another freezer. Since I make my doughs in advance and freeze them the extra storage space will allow me to make in advance so I can take a week off from preparation from time to time and have a life. The other item I am purchasing is a commercial mixer. To date everything has been mixed by hand ... breads, scones, pies. Granted everything cannot be done in a mixer but if I can even do half it will be a huge boost to my ever so tired arms and hands.

I loved this soup. It was inspired by a recipe from Chef Micheal Smith. I love my little Le Creuset individual cast iron pots. They make dinner service a classy event.

It's cooling down out there and warm food is coming into favour.

French onion soup
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 c. brandy or fortified wine such as Madeira
4 c. chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 slices hearty bread or large croutons
2 c. shredded Swiss, Gruyere or Emmenthal cheese

Caramelize onions until they are a deep golden colour. Add brandy. Turn up the heat and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the additional liquid has evaporated.
Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the thyme leaves, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 15 minutes or so.
To serve, preheat the broiler in your oven. Toast the bread slices to add flavour and help absorb the soup. Cut rounds out of the toast, large enough to fit your soup bowls.
Ladle the soup into four ovenproof serving bowls. Top each with a slice or two of toasted bread rounds, enough to cover the top of the soup. Cover the bread with an even mound of shredded cheese. Broil until the cheese has melted and browned. (Adapted from Chef Michael Smith)


  1. A heartwarming soup Sarah. I am sure all of your customers appreciate all you hard work, but then again they do not know exactly how much effort it takes to produce a quality product.

  2. Interesting. I've always made French Onion Soup with beef broth, and a goodly layer of cheese atop the bread, broiled, of course.

    Glad your Farmers Market outings are such a success!

    1. Marjie, me too. I almost substituted the chicken stock for beef stock but it's really good.

  3. I agree, I can't imagine the work. Takes all the pleasure out of it to work so hard on it... but what lucky customers you have to
    get such beautiful products from you.

    Soup looks wonderful-- and I have coveted those little pots for ever so long!!

    Missed looking at all the blogs too... we have both been toiling to long in the mines!!

    1. Deana, you are right. By the end of the season it is only work with little pleasure.


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