French Onion Soup

Soup / Friday, January 31st, 2014


My first pregnancy was pretty textbook. Morning sickness, shrunken bladder and heartburn that made me want to buy stock in Tums. I grew exponentially and lost sight of my toes early. (I’ve yet to gain sight of my toes, but that’s another story.)

I spent my days painting, nesting and getting ready until they hit me: cravings so intense I would have sold my momma for just a taste. There was only one food that would satiate me, one food that I dreamed of, salivated after and needed.


Husband would bring me onion rings after work and take me out for Awesome Blossoms on the weekend. Bec brought me pan-fried onion dip. But when the cravings really got bad – when I would have traded my unborn babe just to huff a Funyun – Momma would make me huge pots of French Onion Soup, which she’d bring over in pitchers. I ate gallons, lakes and rivers of the stuff. Sometimes I’d even eat it cold while another bowl was in the microwave, such was my bulbous need.

After the Birth of the First Granddaughter, Momma finally gave me the recipe. It has few ingredients and is easy to make, but you do need time and patience, which is probably why she waited until after the Great Birth to give me the recipe. A minute before, and I’d have been guzzling beef broth and eating raw onions.

P.S. Momma got this recipe from Howard Suiter, a family friend. God bless him. According to Coach Suiter, the soup’s best if you drink Guinness while you cook it, but that’s not a requirement.

French Onion Soup

Recipe passed along by Howard Suiter

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups Tawny Port
  • 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) good beef broth
  • 8 thick slices French bread
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  1. Warm the oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add butter. After the butter melts, add onions and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the sugar and salt.
  3. Continue cooking the onions, stirring occasionally, until they caramelize. (Do not let them burn!) This will take about an hour.
  4. Add the port, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the beef broth. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  6. To Serve: Toast your bread slices, either by using a toaster or placing the bread on a baking sheet and baking it in a 400-degree oven until toasted, about 5 minutes. Preheat the broiler. Top your bread with the cheese, and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with the cheesy bread.

(Note: If you have ovenproof bowls, you can place them on a baking sheet, ladle soup into the bowls, and float a piece of toast on top of each one. Divide the cheese among all those pieces of toast, and slide the soup under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly, about 2 minutes. )