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French Onion Soup with cheese & homemade croutons

I am excited to share this recipe with everyone this week. My dad and I like to watch cooking shows and this is a combination of three different recipes. It’s very rich and takes a bit of time but so worth it. We made our broth the day before so the flavors could meld together.

Soup Ingredients:

  • Approx. 8 yellow med sized onions, sliced medium (not thin)
  • Handful of mini carrots-, diced
  • 2 – Bay Leaves
  • 3   Sprigs or a good shake of Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. Sherry or Brandy (we used Sherry)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. flour
  • 64 oz. beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • Topping- Pinch of fresh parmesan cheese (grated), 6 oz. Emmentaler cheese (grated) and 6 oz. Le Gruyere cheese (grated)


To make broth pour into large saucepan (we used a 7 qt pan). Pour beef broth, add bay leaves, Thyme, salt and pepper. Add in Worcestershire and tomato paste. Blend together. Add diced carrots and two garlic cloves, halved. Simmer on low for an hour. Let cool in refrigerator overnight. This is not a necessary step if time doesn’t allow. We just thought it would help meld all the flavors together.

The next day, start on the onions. Reheat the broth on simmer while you are reducing the onions. In a separate saucepan add small amount of olive oil, add onion slices under very low heat. As onions begin to soften add salt and pepper and 4 Tbsp. butter. Gently stir onions while reducing. This process will take at least one hour. You are not just carmelizing the onions but more like making an onion jam. When you are satisfied that your onions have reduced enough, mix in 2 Tbsp. flour. Add one half cup of cooking Sherry or Brandy to deglaze the pan. Use a wooden spoon to get the good yummy off the bottom of the pan. After the onions have absorbed the liquid (Sherry or Brandy) add your strained broth (minus carrots, bay leaves, garlic and thyme) to the pan. While cooking under low heat start on your croutons.


  • 1 loaf of crusty bread- we used a demi French baguette (let set out for one day)

Slice finger width. Brush each piece with olive oil and salt lightly. Bake on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes until bread is crunchy. Remove from oven and rub each piece lightly with a sliced garlic clove. Slice croutons in manageable bite size pieces. Use an oven safe bowls and place on a cookie sheet. Add 4-5 croutons in the bottom of the bowl. Add soup to each bowl and top with generous amounts of cheese. Broil in oven for 3 to 4 minutes to get a good melt on the cheese. Remove from oven and enjoy! (Makes 4 generous servings)

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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