When Soup Is For Dinner

During this magical time of chilly breezes, football season and pumpkin everything, it seems only fitting that most people are craving and making soup for dinner.

I’m not one of those people.

I don’t really have anything against soup (other than the fact that I enjoy my solid foods, thankyouverymuch), but I rarely find myself craving it.

And I’m actually pretty picky about it. I like smooth soups (like butternut squash) and I’ll eat the occasional chicken noodle soup (when I’m sick), but minestrone? Italian wedding?

Gag me with a soup spoon.

Which is why the fact that I made soup (and only soup) for dinner the other night was actually pretty strange.

Except perhaps it’s not after I show you this picture:

I spent all day Saturday volunteering with a local charity (cataloging books for an under-funded elementary school). They had received donations from several food establishments for the volunteers’ breakfast/lunch, including one that delivered a ton of loaves of bread.

It was sort of odd- what are we supposed to do with loaves of bread?

Take them, that’s what.  I will never turn down a sourdough boule.

And sourdough boules (in my world) are good for three things: big slabs of buttered toast, a vessel for spinach dip, and a bowl for my soup.

Seeing as I’m not a big soup-maker, I decided I needed to make something bread bowl worthy, but also cheap and easy.

Just like me.


So, I found this onion:

It’s a large vidalia onion, in case you can’t tell from that picture.

I sweated it out (covered) over low heat.

Then sprinkled it with a little salt and a little sugar, and let the slices sweeten up for about 30 minutes.

After they were nicely caramelized (and I had eaten a few spoonfuls straight from the pot- I can’t help myself), I sprinkled them with a little flour and deglazed the pan with a few splashes of white wine before adding beef broth to it.

Then it was just a matter of scooping out the bread bowl.

I filled it to the brim with soup, and topped it with chunks of bread and cheese before baking to make the cheese all bubbly.

French Onion Soup
serves 1

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen and Alton Brown

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 small sourdough boule, scooped out with inside reserved
1 t butter
1/2 t olive oil
1/2 t white sugar
1 T apple cider
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 t flour
1/2 t dried parsley
2 cups beef broth
1/4 shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar, but gruyere or swiss would be good)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Add butter and oil to a saucepot over low heat.  Add onion, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes.
3. Remove cover, raise heat to medium-low, sprinkle with salt and sugar, and let cook for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Once onions have developed their color, sprinkle with flour and cook for one minute.
5. Add cider and wine, scraping up brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Let cook 2-3 minutes.
6. Slowly stir in broth a little at a time and add parsley and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 5-10 minutes.
7. Pour as much soup into the bread bowl as possible and top with chunks of bread (that you removed when you gutted the boule) and cheese.
8. Bake for 5 minutes or so until the cheesy is bubbly.


Yeah, that’s a passable dinner in my book.

Plus, I’ve always enjoyed using edible eating implements.

18 thoughts on “When Soup Is For Dinner

  1. Girl friend, french onion soup is one of my top 3 fav soups but I’ve never tried to make it. Actually, I’ve never tried to make any soups, perhaps I should try.

  2. I am one of those people who’ve been making lots of soup. I do it every year all winter long. And I have never made French Onion soup, but when I saw that Smitten Kitchen post earlier this week, I remember thinking how easy it looks. If a non-soup maker gives it a thumbs up, I’m on it.

  3. I have actually never tried making French Onion soup at home. But I think I will, because that looks absolutely delicious! That cheesy crusty bit hanging off the side? I kinda wanna bite it through my computer screen!

  4. I am actually planning on making some French Onion soup this week 🙂 I bought one of those ginormous bags of onions and am now left with 3 that I haven’t been able to use and since I am a soup lovah I figured it was the best route to take.
    I will be (jealously) not be eating in out of a bread bowl though. Sigh.

  5. I love soup for dinner, but only if it’s either got chewable elements or a shit ton of cheese. And of course, because soup is healthy and has no calories, I get to drink extra wine on soup days.
    This looks fabulous!

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