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FRENCH ONION SOUP, Simple yet Special

Tommy C. Simmons, An enthusiastic cook
Photographer, Tommy C. Simmons

Like most cooks, I have a collection of recipes I plan to try and one of these recipes is for a simple French Onion Soup. The recipe is in a paperback recipe booklet, “Susan Stirs Things Up in the Kitchen” published by Susan Arnovitz Plasker of Atlanta, GA. Her recipe note says, “The wonderful part about this recipe is that it makes enough to serve two people but is easy to double for more.”

On a cold, rainy evening last week, I checked the pantry and had just about everything needed to make her French Onion Soup recipe. I made one substitution in Plasker’s recipe because I don’t keep sherry on hand. To dress up the soup, I topped each serving with a fleur de lis-shaped crouton made from Pillsbury crescent roll dough.
My husband loved Plasker’s version of this classic. Now I want to try other recipes from her cookbook.

French Onion Soup
Home kitchen-tested recipe – Tommy C. Simmons
Serves 2. Original recipe is from Susan Stirs Things Up in the Kitchen by Susan Arnovitz Plasker.

2 medium onions, thinly sliced (I used Vidalia onions)
2 tbls. Margarine
¼ cup water
1 can beef broth
1 beef bouillon cube
2 tsps. Worcestershire sauce
Dash of black pepper
2 tbls. Sherry
2 small slices French bread, toasted
Grated Swiss cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Sauté onions in margarine with water in medium saucepan, covered, for about 20 minutes, until tender.
  2. Add beef broth, bouillon cube, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and sherry and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes to blend seasonings with onions.
  3. Before serving, pour hot soup into two ramekins or oven-safe bowls. Float a slice of hard toasted French bread on each serving. Top with grated Swiss and Parmesan cheeses. Heat in 375-degree oven or under broiler to melt cheese. (Check precautions for your dishes before heating in the oven or broiler.)


Testing note: In place of 2 tablespoons sherry, I substituted 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon cane syrup. Also added a dash of Tabasco pepper sauce to the seasonings.
In place of the French bread topper, I made a fleur de lis-shaped crouton from Pillsbury crescent roll dough.

To make the fleur de lis-shaped crouton
Split open the can of dough. Separate the dough into squares. Place on a lightly floured board and flatten dough with rolling pin to seal the perforation marks. Flour cookie cutter of choice, I liked using the fleur de lis shaped, and press into the dough. Place or greased baking sheet or parchment paper and bake in oven according to the package directions. Shortly before ready, sprinkle grated cheese over each “crouton” and dust with a little paprika if desired for color. When ready to serve soup, ladle into two bowls and top with baked crouton (omit the oven or broiler browning step). Voila!  

Posted May 15, 2014  

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