French Onion Soup and Pretty Nails!

in Soups

Hello amazing people!

On this episode of A Cozy Kitchen, I, Adrianna, will show all of you how I turned three onions (and a few other ingredients)…

Into this cheesy, amazingness…

All while painting my nails a pretty Christmas red.  Yes!

This French Onion Soup (by Julia Child) is super easy; it just takes a little bit of time…approximately, like, 3 hours or so, but most of it’s downtime.  Which means you can do other stuff like paint your nails in front of the TV!

And plus, I’m guessing you have holiday parties to go to and you want pretty nails. Who doesn’t want pretty nails?!

So you’re gonna start by slicing your onions. In case you’re not sure how to slice an onion (which I learned only a few years ago), I decided to go through the steps. Why not, we’re shooting on digital.

Slice it in half, from the swirling top part through the root end.

Peel the skin off using your hands, or if you’re really fancy…your knife. I use my hands.

And then slice it thinly.  I think thinner is better for French Onion Soup.

CONFESSION: My favorite part of French Onion Soup is the crusty bread, cheese and the rich broth. Really the actual onions are kinda secondary. I don’t want them thick and slimy, but instead thin and barely present.

That’s why I like cutting the onions super thin.  If you LOVE onions, then cut them a bit thicker.

We have options!

After you’re done slicing horizontally, just cut around the root. You’ll end up with just the root.  No onion wasted.

After you’re done slicing up all of your onions (and wiping your tears), then you just throw all the onions in the pot with a little olive oil and butter.

Also, no matter how “correctly” I cut an onion, my eyes still water like ridiculous amounts.

I just have sensitive eyes. They really are the weakest part of my body. I’m about as blind as they come.

What if I got stranded on a deserted island–Gilligan’s Island style–and had to fend for myself. Me and my bad eye sight would be in huuuge trouble.  Isn’t that a terrifying thought?!

Moving on…

So basically you’re just going to cover the pot and cook the onions for 15 minutes.  This is the perfect time to file your nails.

I bought this nifty nail file and it has all the steps numbered.

Genius. I followed the instructions.

Then after I was done filing and buffing my nails, I checked on the onions. This is where they were at…

But you want them to be a deep, dark color, so this is a good time to add a little salt and sugar.

Cook them for 35 more minutes. Oh yeah, and leave the pot uncovered.

This is a good time to do your base coat!  I’m no nail pro but I recommend a first coat if you’re using a dark color, because otherwise the nail polish will stain your nails.  Not cute.

Isn’t this fun!?

I let the base coat dry a little and then put on my first coat.

In between coats, I went over and kinda shifted the onions around a bit. My nails were cool. Nothing got messed up. I just didn’t want the onions to stick and burn to the bottom of the pot. That’s all. No biggie.

After I moved the onions around a little and came to the conclusion that they were all good,  I put on the second coat.

Okay, so at this point my nails were pretty much dry and the onions looked like this.

BINGO! I kinda wanted to ditch the French Onion Soup idea and just put them on a burger. But then I remembered all the cheese that was gonna be at the end.

I added a little white wine and beef broth. If you’re a vegetarian, you could of course use vegetable stock, too. I love options!

Oh and if you are actually going to do the nail polish thing while making this soup, I’d suggest opening the bottle of wine before you paint your nails. I messed up my thumb and had to re-do it.

Julia recommends adding salt now and then letting it cook for 30 more minutes. This totally makes sense if you’re using a homemade, salt-free stock, but I was using store-bought and kinda feared if I added more salt it’d be way too salt. I was correct.

Whoa. Can we just have a moment of silence. I just disagreed with Julia Child. That’s huge. And weird.

After 30 more minutes of simmering, it’ll look like this. It’ll be thick, rich and really REALLY amazing. Give it a taste. See if it needs some salt. Mine didn’t need any which I’m guessing had to do with the stock I used–it wasn’t low-sodium.

Then I added them to some little bowls and put them on a baking sheet. This is when French Onion Soup gets real. Really real.

Cut up some crusty, French bread. Add it to the top.

At this point, I wanted to drink it/eat it.

Then add the gruyere. And I piled it on because I love cheese. And because it’s a free country.

And then I baked it for 15-20 minutes. The recipe said 30 minutes, but I don’t have the patience of Julia Child.

I saw the cheese was melty and brown, so I took it out.

French Onion Soup and pretty nails. Double-win.

French Onion Soup

Tweaked Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

(My best friend bought this book for me a few years ago and it’s really a must have! Put it on your xmas list!)

Print this recipe!

1 1/2 lbs. or about 5 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions

3 tablespoons of butter

1 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoons of sugar (helps the onions to brown)

3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

2 quarts beef stock

1/2 cup of dry white wine

Salt and Pepper to taste

Slices of French Bread

1/2 cup of gruyere, grated

Cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil in the covered saucepan for 15 minutes.

Uncover, raise heat to moderate, and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook for 30-40 minutes stirring frequently, until the onions have turned an even, deep, golden brown.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 minutes.

Off the heat, blend in the boiling liquid.  Add the wine.  Simmer partially covered for 30-40 minutes or more, skimming occasionally. Correct seasoning.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Pour into soup cups.  Top with a slice of crusty bread and a handful of grated Gruyere cheese. Place soup on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melty and brown.

{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

Thelma December 17, 2010 at 12:44 am

This looks so delicious… and I love how you’ve included the nails bit in with the recipe. Very important! That shade of essie is lovely.

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Sütüme Sarelleme Karışma!! December 17, 2010 at 12:49 am

OMG! your post is so funny and amazing. First of all i tried every single method and there is no “correct” way to cut onions without crying. Next and final solution is “diving mask ” i guess:))) if i take a picture of me like that sure i’ll send! The other thing in Turkey most of the time we drink soup but i prefer the eatable ones, too… Like your recipe or lentil and vegetable together. Finally loved the color of your nails, u set a really good example of being crisp even in kitchen! Have fun…

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Adrianna December 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm

umm…i need to see a picture!

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Yankee4Life December 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I have found that wearing contacts makes for a no tears experience. People are always amazed that I can get through this job with no tears! Are there any other contact wearers with the same experience?

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Melissa December 23, 2010 at 7:38 am

I agree. I very seldom cry cutting up onions when I wear contacts, but I end up with tears most of the time if I’m wearing glasses.

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Lezlee February 5, 2012 at 9:13 am

Absolutely. Contacts make all the difference. No more tears!

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Jesus May 27, 2011 at 11:44 am

chew gum and you wont cry while cutting onions

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Christine November 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I guess I’m the freak – I wear contacts but still cry.

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farmwifetwo December 17, 2010 at 4:49 am

I always decided french onion soup was too much trouble to make until I found a recipe in the “foodland Ont” booklet that some of the vegetable growers put out.

30min start to finish. It’s “booze” is beer, I’ve try substituting with wine and it’s just not the same.

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Angie December 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm

How much beer? I usually prefer beer to wine in general and have found I vastly prefer it in cooking!

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Tiffany @ Conor & Bella December 17, 2010 at 5:02 am

I’ve never had French Onion Soup before, but the melty cheese looks soooo good!

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Stephanie P December 17, 2010 at 5:49 am

I’m also really blind and have had the same thought as you many times!! What if I was born in the 1800’s and they didn’t have glasses and contacts… I probably wouldn’t be ALIVE!!! Ahhhh scary!!! French onion soup is also my all time FAVORITE soup! I tried it once… didn’t really turn out, so i’ll have to try this recipe! YUMMMM.

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Adrianna December 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

you and i would be so screwed! this fear pushes me closer and closer to getting lasik surgery!

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Blog is the New Black December 17, 2010 at 5:53 am

I LOVE FO soup… and your nails looks pretty! :)

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Katrina December 17, 2010 at 6:18 am

Love your nails! So cute and Christmas-y!! Your soup sounds awesome too. Great post :)

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Tina December 17, 2010 at 7:16 am

What a adorable post!! I give u props for even attempting to do ur nails while cooking!! I love Essie brand nail polish too!

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AngelHeadedHipster December 17, 2010 at 8:04 am

As one of the aforementioned two dudes, I’d like to saw that both the soup and the nails look awesome! Nice work!

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kotomi December 17, 2010 at 8:55 am

I love french onion soup! If it’s on the menu at a restaurant, I always order it. And essie is my favorite nail polish brand! I love the small square bottles & the thin brush — plus it applies so well. Did you get those bowls from anthropologie? They’re adorable!

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Adrianna December 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm

yes, i got them at anthropolgie! use them all the time.

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Joanne December 17, 2010 at 9:30 am

I like this. I’ve always had the hardest time multi-tasking while cooking but you totally spelled it all out for me! Plus there’s cheese and bread at the end. Love.

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M.J. Jacobsen December 17, 2010 at 9:36 am

Cool! I have to make this, and do my nails this weekend!

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bonnie December 17, 2010 at 9:52 am

I love Essie products, too. I DON’T love F. onion soup but you have tempted me to try it again! thanks!

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bonnie December 17, 2010 at 9:53 am

PS Where did you get those cute bowls?!

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Adrianna December 17, 2010 at 12:11 pm

anthropologie! they have super cute kitchen stuff.

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laura @ a little barefoot December 17, 2010 at 10:05 am

this makes me want to paint my nails red in a major way. adding it to my to-do list for the weekend…
and i LOVE french onion soup. this looks amazing.

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Susan December 17, 2010 at 11:00 am

This recipe looks great—as do the Anthropologie bowls!

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Allison @ I Cooked It December 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I didn’t know how to cut onions until a few years ago as well. I took the chopping class at Viking. I highly recommend it. We did onions, peppers and a few other things. Now I can impress my friends when I cook.

I love those bowls too. Maybe I should add them to the Christmas list?

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Adrianna December 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm

totally! they’re not too expensive either, though, you’ll want like 6 if you’re anything like me. 😉

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Marcella December 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm

This looks sooo delicious and so simple! P.S. My favorite nail polish brand is O.P.I. Oh and P.P.S. Props for disagreeing with Julia! That takes courage!

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Amanda December 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I love French onion soup and yours and Julia’s looks delicious.

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Pretty. Good. Food. December 18, 2010 at 9:11 am

Oh yum!!!! This is so easy, sweet! Looks delicious! ps: Thanks for the nail polish tips too 😉

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EatLiveRun December 18, 2010 at 9:13 am

this post makes me smile! When I studied abroad in France, I went through a (rather smelly) phase where I ate nothing but french onion soup at every bistro I stopped at. Fact.

Yours looks so delicious!

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Alina December 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Haha thank you for this super-funny post :) I always thought French onion soup was something very complicated. Now I know I can make it too :) I’ve heard you can blanch onions in boiling water before cutting them, to avoid crying! But I’ve never tried this method.

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Chris December 18, 2010 at 2:42 pm

haha guess i’m one of the two dudes who read this post. aside from the nails (’cause i paint mine all the time…i kid), that french onion soup looks amazing! definitely going to give this a shot! and who doesn’t like hot, comforting soup during the winter…?

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Adrianna December 19, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Yay for dudes reading the blog!

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Chris Chang December 26, 2010 at 4:04 pm

haha! yay! the soup is simmering away at the moment! I am super excited to try it! Thanks again for the recipe and the post!

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Dana December 19, 2010 at 12:53 am

That looks like a great french onion soup! I like to cut the onions as thin as possible too! If you have a mandoline, it gets the job done toute suite!

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Sandi December 19, 2010 at 8:37 am

Soup looks amazing, but I’m going to have to pass on the nail polish this time – last night while frantically sewing a Christmas present, I put the sewing machine needle through my fingernail and then ripped it out through the end of the nail. Nope, not drawing attention to my hands right now. As for the onions, I’m seriously considering getting a pair of onion goggles. Check ’em out on Amazon. (Of course, if you wear glasses you’re out of luck.)

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Adrianna December 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm

OMG! That sounds SO painful.

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Angie December 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Have you ever tried Zoya polish? It has fewer chemicals than the other brands out there, my salon just started carrying it, and I LOVE it…. props for doing a base coast like a rational human being :)

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Adrianna December 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm

No, I haven’t! I like the sound of it, though. I must research. 😉

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Flora Deborah December 20, 2010 at 5:42 am

Loving your blog! Just discovered it trough the unicorn/dream magazine, and I’m a fan :)
x

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Kate December 21, 2010 at 8:57 am

Oh my gaw… French onion. God bless Julia for this recipe. I had a batch from a cute little cafe up the street from my work a couple of weeks ago and was disgusted off the taste: consomme instead of broth, hard onions, sloppy bread, rubbery cheese. Maybe this is my sign from the universe that I should make French onion soup tonight to use up all the onions (that are totally NOT sprouting) in my kitchen…

Also, re: the whole sulphur eye-watering onion chopping ordeal, stick your onions in the freezer for 5-15 minutes, depending on the size of your onion, then do as you please. I don’t know the science of it, but it’s a tip I picked up a couple of years ago. Always works for me!

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zeze December 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Wow this looks amazing. I was wondering, I don’t drink, so what could I substitute for the wine without losing too much flavor. I make it veggie too, so too much veggie stock makes it a bit blah…is there an herb, juice maybe (?) out there what would deepen the flavor without the booze-n-beef?

Very cute nails by the way!

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Adrianna December 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Hmm…you could add an herb bouquet to the broth? OR just add more cheese. :) That always seems to make things better for me.

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zeze December 22, 2010 at 6:44 am

More cheese. I like it!

Thanks :)

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fiestaman December 21, 2010 at 5:27 pm

luv it. your recipe has made it to our family’s feast for Christmas. Cant wait to post more once we’ve made and devoured.

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Heather January 11, 2011 at 6:18 am

Thanks so much for the easy onion-slicing tip! I just made my own onion soup (pretty similar to yours – yum!) and linked to your entry on my site, Let’s Go Dutch. I just started it last fall, so please don’t judge – I’m learning and improving! :)

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Adrianna January 12, 2011 at 10:39 am

You’re super cute!

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Jen January 12, 2011 at 9:59 am

A friend turned me on to your super fun blog last week, and I am now indebted to her forever. This is the first recipe I tried and I have to say, it was deliciously yummy. (Unfortunatly, I still have ugly nails since I made Barefoot’s Croque Monsieurs in the meantime…) Thanks for adding cuteness to my days now. :)

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Adrianna January 12, 2011 at 10:35 am

Tell your friend I think she’s super rad. So glad you’re here! X

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Mollie Rose January 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I can’t wait to try this recipe. My grandpa loves french onion soup and I know he will find this one to be absolutely amazing!

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Missy March 13, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I found your website because of the homemade corn dogs recipe (which will be made within the next few weeks) but then I found this recipe a few days ago and then could not stop thinking about FO soup. It was fantastic and definitely hit the spot! Thanks for posting. Also I love the pictures and the fun commentary for each recipe.

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Cathy March 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I don’t really like onions but your nails look great!

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jessica March 20, 2011 at 10:01 am

just stumbled across your amazing blog and i MUST make this soup tonight! but i must ask… what type of bowls are you using here? they are just adorable and i cannot find any oven-safe bowls that are this cute… thanks for the amazing recipe and when i blog about this, i will link it to this page.

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Adrianna June 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Hi Jessica, I bought them at Anthropolgie!

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Vic June 9, 2011 at 4:12 am

How many servings does this recipe make?

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Adrianna June 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm

About 4 small bowls of soup.

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Sarah Shoe Insert June 20, 2011 at 2:57 am

I do not even know how I ended up right here, however I thought this put up was once great. I don’t know who you’re however certainly you are going to a well-known blogger in case you are not already 😉 Cheers!

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Alicia July 8, 2011 at 1:49 am

Hey, I found this delicious recipe last night whilst stumbling and had to wait a whole 15 hours to go make it for my family! It was absolutely phenomenal!!! I literally just finished my bowl and i have got to say; orgasmic. A perfect way to end the day! My sister was a little bitchy about it cos i made it with the beef stock and not veggie, but one taste of this soup and I didn’t even care anymore. Thanks so much for making me look like a fancy chef with your and Julia’s simple recepie! 😀
-Alicia

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theoncominghope August 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Yummy! I loooove French onion soup more than any other soup.

I wrote my own easy-ish version as well. Bet you never thought a French Onion Soup recipe would have James Van Der Beek crying: http://bit.ly/qX1SlG

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Remy August 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm

How many does this serve?? Looks great, I can’t wait to try it.

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Autumn November 20, 2011 at 12:44 am

This recipe is truly delicious, I was so excited when I finally got to taste it (the smell it creates is intoxicating). Also, if you put the onions in the freezer for like ten minutes before you plan on cutting them up it will seriously decrease or eliminate the watery eyes! I have very sensitive eyes myself, but it really does work.

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Jess December 28, 2011 at 4:34 am

Fantastic!! I can’t wait to give it a shot.
(Also I posted a link on my webpage – I hope you don’t mind).

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Mel January 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm

I think i’m gonna try this one to use a surplus of onions in our apartment. I don’t have any oven safe bowls though… would it be sacrilege to toast some crust bread with cheese and just soak on top? I mean hell, with three hours of downtime you could almost make the bread yourself!

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Adrianna January 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Nah! It’d totally work. I mean, it’d just be sure to pile the toast high with cheese. It’s kind of all about the cheese and bread. :)

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Colleen January 11, 2012 at 7:47 am

I am making this tonight and I cannot wait!! If you partially freeze the onions before slicing you will nit cry. It also makes it easier to cut for some reason.

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Shelly February 2, 2012 at 8:09 am

I read a chefs note recently on doing the toasted bread and cheese in the oven on a cookie sheet and then just placing it on the hot bowl of soup to serve. Tip was to cut the bread to the exact size so it fit the bowl perfectly, no more sloshing and spilling soup in the oven, or having to handle super hot bowls when you serve the soup.

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Kita February 13, 2012 at 7:18 am

Use vermouth instead of wine. Gives a much truer French taste.

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Claire August 8, 2012 at 11:17 am

this makes me so eager for the fall!

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Jo September 22, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Just found you…I love FO soup and this recipe looks great!! Saw that it calls for flour but I don’t see where and when you added the flour??

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Dawn Reid October 20, 2012 at 11:47 am

I just wanted to say that I absolutely love the way this is wrote out.. Not only did I learn how to make french onion soup but I got a great laugh in as well.. You are so funny!! Im gonna try this soup as soon as my husband comes in from offshore later on this week.. THANKS!!!

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sabine October 30, 2012 at 6:33 am

hey, could i prepare the soup the night before and keep in the fridge? would it be ok and still yummy?
have the house full of people friday and no time to chop and cook then….

/sabine

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Bénédicte November 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

This looks really good, I’m definitely trying it out soon… Yummy, winter soup.
And if you put the blade of your knife (or the entire onion for that matter) under water for a few seconds every time your eyes start to water, they stop. Apparently it’s some kind of chemical reaction, but it actually works quite well! :)

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Mel February 26, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Hi!
I made this soup this week. I’m doing a write up on my blog and I’ll be linking back. Thanks for sharing a delicious soup (and your nails looked great!)

Mel

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virginia oney October 28, 2013 at 2:42 pm

this is my favorite soup and ill be sure to make it

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virginia oney October 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm

your nails are pretty ,and the thiming was right in between point A AND POINT B FAR DRYING AND NEXT LAYER TO APPLY .AND YOU DIDNT SMUG NOT A NAIL

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virginia oney October 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I DIDNT READ WHEN YOU USED THE FLOUR

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Frances Lalley February 28, 2014 at 7:38 am

Is the boiling liquid the beef stock you are suppose to add in at that time.

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andrea March 1, 2014 at 11:17 pm

This is SOMETHING here

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Jen April 10, 2014 at 3:47 pm

This is THE BEST recipe for French onion soup. I make it (and crave it) all the time.

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Dr Emdee December 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm

You are so irritating. Just tell us how to make the soup. Your rants are stupid and annoying.

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Adrianna Adarme December 9, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Then don’t read my blog. It’s pretty simple.

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cm December 20, 2014 at 10:43 am

Just tried it and loved it! Thanks for making it so simple and easy to follow! I’ve never even tasted Onion Soup, and just thought of trying it – I’m glad I did. To be made again :)

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Adrianna Adarme December 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Oh awesome. YAY!

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Joan January 6, 2015 at 2:49 pm

How many does it serve?

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Adrianna Adarme January 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm

About 4 to 6!

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