1979 French Onion Soup vs. 2008 French Onion Soup
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1979 French Onion Soup vs. 2008 French Onion Soup

When I was a child, I keenly remember selecting the recipes from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls that I wanted to make for my friends and family. Often times, it was Linda Barton, a neighborhood buddy and I concocting in the kitchen–especially in the summertime. In addition to Eggs in Bologna Cups, Friendly Dog Salad and Ice Cream Cookies, one of our favorites was always French Onion Soup. Now, looking back on it, I’m fearful that it was nothing but beef broth and onions topped with Swiss cheese and a few cubes of white bread…but it worked for us. And we loved every drop.

Flash forward to New Year’s 2008. I’ve decided to create French Onion Soup as a menu item for dinner that evening. I’ve found the perfect one on epicurious.com. (I am a frequent flyer on that website). A few modifications and I’ve created a rich, robust and flavorful soup that my husband claimed was better than any restaurant FOS he’d ever tasted.

French Onion Soup
Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 6 onions (about 3 pounds), sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 cups canned beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 sourdough bread slices, toasted
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until very tender and brown, about 45 minutes. Add wine and simmer until reduced to glaze, about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, beef broth and mustard. Simmer 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate. Return soup to simmer before continuing.)

Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into broilerproof bowls. Top each with slice of toast and grated cheeses. Broil until cheeses melt and bubble.


My modifications:
Use all beef broth
Used red wine (Cab)
Cooked onions with 2 thyme sprigs for about 1 1/2 hours (be patient-it is worth it)
Used 3 t. mustard
Used 1 T. balsamic vinegar

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