no rush

cooking for one... or two

Categories: Soups, Dinner for Two, Supper, Lunch, Posted on May 25, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten

I simply adore French onion soup. Historically what I haven’t been crazy about are the required hours to properly caramelize the onions. But now, like many, I have a bit of time on my hands.

And like quite a few, I’m not filling my table the way I used to. And if your freezer is like mine and has precious little real estate to spare the last thing I need to do is try to cram one more quart into it.  So I spent this last week figuring out how to make French onion soup for one. The trick is to traditionally caramelize pounds of onions then once they’ve cooked down to a gorgeous golden hue divide the onions into single “soup-portions”. Stash in Ziploc bags and pop them into the freezer until you crave a steaming fragrant bowl capped with a melty cheesy croute.  


For this culinary journey I started the quintessential classic from Julia Child. ThenI began to make some changes for my rendition of french onion soup for one.


Start with three pounds of yellow onions, about 5-6.


Peel the onions then cut in half lengthwise and thinly slice. A Cuisinart fitted with the slicing disc.


Or a mandolin and a cut-resistant steel mesh glove will greatly aid in this process.


Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed pot. Add the sliced onions along with one and half teaspoons of salt. Stir well and cover with a lid. 


Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about ten to fifteen minutes until the onions have “sweated” and are translucent.


Add a half teaspoon sugar, stir well and continue cooking over medium to medium-low heat stirring frequently for about 40 minutes until beautifully golden brown. Take care to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan as you stir. It's kind of crazy that all those onions when properly carmelized cook down to about a cup.


Let the onions cool completely. Divide the onion mixture into four equal parts, roughly ¼ cup each. Place in Ziploc bags and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to three months. Bring the onions to room temperature before proceeding.


For each serving of soup place the onions, bay leaf, dried thyme, freshly ground pepper and sherry in a small saucepan. Stir well. Add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer on medium-low heat for twenty minutes, stirring frequently. Taste for seasoning. Add a pinch of salt and more pepper if needed.


Meanwhile preheat the broiler and place the bread rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread ¼ teaspoon mustard on each slice. Top with a heaping tablespoon of grated cheese, letting the cheese cascade of the bread, and a grind of fresh pepper. 


Watching closely broil for 3-5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.


Remove the bay leaf from the soup. Ladle into a bowl.

Top with two slices of toast. Serve piping hot.

Here’s a video showing how easy it is to make French onion soup for one. Enjoy!

For more videos and photos follow me on Instagram @andshecooks2_

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