French Onion Soup

Cooking and blogging has given me a creative outlet I’ve been missing these past few years. Food photography is creatively challenging but requires good time management – the food (*cough* your guests food) gets cold, quick! Regardless, taking photos is one of my favorite parts about this blog. This year for my birthday, my boyfriend got me an SLR digital camera – and I am so excited! This is the first post in which the photos are from the new camera! Bear with me, the photos will improve in style and quality as my skills improve.

Today, instead of cooking up something for someone else, I’ve chosen to make something I personally love, crave and want…now.

French onion soup – It’s a classic item you’ll find in many restaurants in Montreal. Steaming beef broth, sweet caramelized onions and ooey gooey melty cheese enveloping it all, sheilding it (and me) from the -18° C weather were having, brrrrr!

The result was fantastic. Mmmmmm. Just drooled on my keyboard – now it smells like onion soup, yummy.

I made it twice – yes, twice in all of 3 days. I made it once using red wine but it overpowered the sweetness the onions brought to the soup while in the second batch the white wine accentuated it. The white wine version was most definitely the winner!

Another bonus to this recipe – bourbon. Yipee Ki Yay!

Warning: Swigs from said wine and/or bourbon bottle may occur. You may have more class and pour it into a glass – your choice.

While I used beef broth to make this recipe, you can use vegetable broth for a vegetarian (or kosher) alternative.

Another note, while many recipes call for grated cheese, I preferred using a slice of gruyere cheese since it created a nice thick layer.

French Onion Soup

Adapted from Chatelaine magazine

Serves 4


  •  2 medium white or red onions, or 6 small white onions (about 1.5 lbs/750g)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp bourbon
  • 900 mL beef broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small baguette
  • gruyere cheese (1-2 cups grated or sliced)
  • parmesan cheese (1/4 cup grated)


  1. Peel onions, then cut in half lengthwise. Place onions, cut side down and thinly slice into semi-circles.
  2. Heat butter and oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and mix to completely coat with oil/butter mixture.
  3. Sprinkle onions with sugar and pour in bourbon. Cook, uncovered and stirring often until very soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes.
  4. Add broth, wine, dijon, thyme, and bay leaf. If using carton of broth add 1/2 cup of water. If using homemade broth, do not add water. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme when complete.
  5. Place oven rack in top half of oven and preheat the broiler. Slice baguette into 1/2 inch slices and toast in the oven, until lightly golden, about 2 minutes per side.
  6. Place oven safe bowls on a baking sheet and ladle in the soup. Top with toasted baguette, add sliced gruyere and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  7. Place baking sheet in oven and broil until cheese is bubbly about 2-4 minutes.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Hope you enjoy this soup (and the pictures!)

– Jennie



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