Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Soup of the Day... Award Winning French Onion Soup

A little Soupy History

  • Food historians tell us the history of soup is probably as old as the history of cooking. The act of combining various ingredients in a large pot to create a nutritious, filling, easily digested, simple to make/serve food was inevitable. This made it the perfect choice for both sedentary and traveling cultures, rich and poor, healthy people and invalids. Soup (and stews, pottages, porridges, gruels, etc.) evolved according to local ingredients and tastes. New England chowder, Spanish gazpacho, Russian borscht, Italian minestrone, French onion, Chinese won ton, and Campbell's tomato...are all variations on the same theme.

  • Soups were easily digested and were prescribed for invalids since ancient times. The modern restaurant industry is said to be based on soup. Restoratifs (wheron the word "restaurant" comes) were the first items served in public restaurants in 18th century Paris. Broth [Pot-au-feu], bouillion, and consomme entered here. Classic French cuisine generated many of the soups we know today.

  • Advancements in science enabled soups to take many forms...portable, canned, dehydrated, microwave-ready. "Pocket soup" was carried by colonial travelers, as it could easily be reconstituted with a little hot water. Canned and dehydrated soups were available in the 19th century. These supplied the military, covered wagon trains, cowboy chuck wagons, and the home pantry. Advances in science also permitted the adjustment of nutrients to fit specific dietary needs (low salt, high fiber, etc.).
Today's recipe... Remember... Disclaimer: Some folks don't always follow updated USDA canning methods, they may live in another country where the standards are not the same, they may use heirloom methods passed down through the generations, they may choose other canning methods not recommended. Use this recipe at your own discretion, or adapt it to your own method. I am sharing these recipes EXACTLY as they were sent to me and take NO responsibility for them.

"Award Winning French Onion Soup" 
Kim Foster Schonefeld

This recipe makes a pot of soup that serves 6. I triple it if I am going to can it that way I get 7 quarts with enough left over for lunch or dinner.


6 large yellow onions (sliced thin),

2 tablespoons olive oil,

1 carton each or 32.oz home made chicken broth and beef broth,

1 cup sherry,

1/2 teaspoon salt,

1/4 teaspoon pepper,

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic,

2 teaspoons fresh or dried thyme, 1 bay leaf,


In a large stock pot over medium heat, caramelize onions in oil until dark golden brown. Add sherry; cook for 6 minutes stirring often. Add chicken and beef stocks, salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaf and garlic. Simmer 45 minutes. Serve: Pour soup into oven safe crock or bowl; top with nice thick slice of crusty bread and a slice of cheese. Bake in a 350. degree oven until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

For canning, I use a slotted spoon and funnel to gather onions from stock pot and place in sterilized jars equally. Then ladle the soup into jars leaving 1" head space. (Do not add bread and cheese until opening to serve as suggested above). You will Love this Soup! PC 90 Minutes for quarts 75 minutes for pints.

Tomorrow's Soup of the Day... 
Beef and Barley Stew with Roasted Winter Vegetables­­

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