Monday, February 15, 2010

A sincere apology and bribery through French Onion Soup

To begin with, I owe my followers a sincere apology for my absence over the past few months.  I promise I have a good excuse, but I'll get to that in a moment.  To make it up to my blogging friends, and to thank you for your patience, I am sharing the most incredible French Onion Soup today.  I made this as a special Valentine's Day treat as it is one of my husband's favorites.  The recipe is another winner from The Pioneer Woman, and like the rest-- this one does not disappoint.  It does take a little bit of time, but not a whole lot of energy.  The house smelled amazing and it was the perfect starter for a special meal.  As a special note, the flavor of the white wine really does come through, so make sure that you use one you wouldn't mind drinking. My only regret was that I would have loved to brown up the cheese a little bit.  It was nice and melted, but not as bubbly as I would have liked.  Unfortunately, my crocks were not broiler safe and I can't quite rationalize a kitchen torch at this time.  Maybe one day.... :)

Before I get to the recipe, I do want to share that I will be adding a new feature in coming days.  Part of my absence was due to the new diagnosis that my son is allergic to cow's milk.  Figuring this out has been a true miracle as he has been a completely different child since eliminating milk products from his diet.  His digestive system has been completely turned around and the child is now willing to eat regular meals.  He's three years old and for the first time is able to eat normal amounts of food, instead of picking as he always had before.  The poor thing looked at me the other day and said, "I'm happy because my tummy doesn't hurt anymore."  Hard to hear from your little one!  I've been doing a lot of research, trying to find foods that are made without milk products, and recipes that fit within his new dietary needs.  You wouldn't believe the items that have milk products in them-- it truly has been an education!  One thing that I have found is that it can be very difficult to find kid-friendly, dairy-free recipes.  Many of the specialty items that you can find locally are incredibly expensive and I have had to learn to make many new items from scratch to control what he does consume.  I'm hoping that if I share what I do find, and have success with, then I might be able to help someone else in a similar situation.  I've learned so much from the blogs and sites that I have found and would love to be able to pass some of that along.  Please watch for these special dairy-free features coming soon!

French Onion Soup
1 stick butter
4-5 large yellow onions, halved from root to tip and sliced thin
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups beef broth
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
French bread
Swiss (or Gruyere) cheese

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  In a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add your sliced onions and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes.  Place the entire soup pot in the oven, with the lid slightly offset to allow the onions to brown.  Cook the onions in the oven for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.  Remove the pot from the oven and place it back on the burner.  Add the wine before turning the heat back on.  Stir in the wine, scraping off the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook on medium for about 5 minutes (or until the wine is able to reduce).  Add the beef and chicken broth, the Worcestershire Sauce and the minced garlic.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the bread into thick slices.  Butter one side and broil over low heat, allowing the bread to become browned and crispy.  When the soup is finished, ladle it into an oven-safe soup crock.  Top with the bread and the cheese.  Grated works best, but you can use sliced if you have it.  Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  (Please be sure to check your crocks-- mine were not safe to go above 400 degrees in the oven, and this seemed to be a common trait of the soup crocks.  I simply melted my cheese at the max temperature.)  Serve immediately out of the oven.

Source: The Pioneer Woman


  1. both of my kids are lactose intolerant as well. it's so tough since dairy is such a common thing in a child's diet. but like you said, it's a real blessing just to know so they don't have to suffer, good luck with your little one!

    i'm so happy you posted this. i've been having a total craving for french onion soup for quite a while, i can't wait to make this!

  2. I know you've had quite the time adjusting with your recent dietary changes, but Josh is lucky to have such a good/devoted Mommy!

    As far as your recipe is concerned...would you believe that I have NEVER tried French Onion soup?!?!? I know Mom always talked about loving it and it always looks so delicious, but it's one of those things that Marcus won't go near, so I've never tried making it. I'm REALLY looking forward to living closer to you guys so I can be a bit more experimental with my recipes and share them with you!

  3. You have been missed , so I'm glad you are back! So sorry to hear about your sons allergies, but glad that you have found out the cause of his discomfort.
    The soup looks amazing...I have never tried to make this, but I LOVE to eat it! Thanks

  4. I'm sorry to hear about your little guy's allergy to milk. My little guy (who is also 3) is allergic to wheat, eggs, soy, all nuts, beans and legumes, beef, turkey, and red dye. It is a very limited diet for him and I have a very hard time with it. Hopefully they will both overcome their allergies and be able to enjoy everything we can one day!
    I love the new look of your blog. It's gorgeous!
    The french onion soup looks amazing. You should think about sending it over to Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman.

  5. I wasn't lactose intolerant but I was allergic to dairy as a child. They didn't figure it out until I was 5 or 6... and after countless sets of tubes in my ears and dozens and dozens of ear infections and sinus infections. All caused by eating dairy products- milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream.

    It sucked because what kid can go without ice cream or milk on their cereal??? But I outgrew it when I was 11 years old. And now I really appreciate cereal and ice cream and cheese... There weren't substitute products when I was growing up- I simply had to go without. Ugh.

  6. Oh, dear, food allergic are tough. We have an allergic-to-everything kid, dairy, eggs, gluten, potatoes, nuts, fruits with seeds, soy, beef, corn....and the list goes on. Very hard to cook for her, but we look at what she CAN have and build from there.

    Yumm...french onion soup. I love it! I bought 10 pounds of onions to make soup and haven't gotten to it yet. This version looks delicious.

    Thank you for posting this. Glad to see you back.

  7. So sorry to hear about your sons allergy. Poor baby but I'm glad you got it figured out this soon so he can keep on living.

    This soup looks incredible, by the way.

  8. My son was diagnosed with severe milk allergies at 6 months, he is now 8 and can have all but straight milk, hopefully your little one out grows it!
    What a beautiful soup, I can put my french onion crocks and the kitchen torch to good use now!

  9. that looks amazing. I'm lactose intolerant, so I understand how hard it is to find food that doesn't contain milk products. Even hot dogs have whey and lots of crackers and random foods have milk. It's crazy. Lucy for me, they make lactose enzymes. Hopefully your little guy will not always be allergic!

  10. This soup looks so warm and comforting! We are expected to have snow tomorrow - this would really hit the spot. I'm so glad to see you back! You've been missed :O)

  11. My whole comment just got erased, but in a nutshell, I keep strictly kosher (no mixing meat with dairy and waiting in between consumption of the two) so I am a master at desserts and meals that have no cheese/milk. A great substitute is soy milk (cakes, etc) and margarine. I know, not as good as the real stuff, but what can you do...

    Kosher food items are always clearly labeled in regards to whether they are dairy, meat or parve (the hebrew word for neutral, ie not containing meat or dairy products) so learning about the labeling and where to find it/what to look for can easily help you figure out which products have milk or ingredients which are milk derivatives.

    If you have any questions about shopping/buying kosher products (so that your little boy can stay pain-free!) or about cooking w/out dairy products, feel free to email me at

  12. Don’t let addiction take over your life. You can go to different eating disorders to get the help you need. Look for ones in your area that are caring and compassionate.