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French Onion Bagel Soup


Soup season it’s here and the soup I’m craving: French Onion Soup, a classic of classics, deep mahogany broth, soft sweet onions, and that crusty bread soaking all the juices and keeping afloat the most amazing crusty cheesy cloud on top of the soup. A wintery elixir. There is something cosmic about a cold day and simmering pot of soup on the stove. The House is warm with a cozy smell, a sweater, some crusty bread, warming your hands by holding the cup is just one of the best feelings…wiiihkkk…Now can you hear the wicked record on the back?… I just remembered we live in Texas.

This “El Niño” is driving me crazy. Almost 6 months of summer here in Austin to much Summer for me I wish I could be in Yakutsk for the weekend and then come back to be able to appreciate this Texas weather… But for now I’m just in need of cool down so I can make soup, lots of soup.

Dreaming with cold weather while the thermometer reads 80 F… I’m making soup anyway…We will crank down the AC just for tonight and pretend it’s cold outside… Adjust your AC accordingly.  Now with the right temperature (thermometer reads 70F), Lets cook!…

Well, here we are revamping the unrevampable, and I thought about giving this classic French onion soup a little twist. I used a bagel instead of the crusty bread. Yes, a crusty chewy pumpernickel bagel toasted, with a bellybutton that helps the steam escape from the soup and let’s the oozing cheese talk to the soft onions below. The good thing about using a bagel is that stays crunchy for longer and it madly absorbs the oniony broth.  It is ridiculously good and satisfying.

Through out the recipe you will find a couple of tips and tricks that I’ve learned to use when making onion soup. I know they will help you make the best onion soup you can make, or to improve the one you already make.

For now, this is all what I can tell you about one of my favorite soups…

Just relax and cook. I promise all your efforts will be rewarded on the first spoonful, and there will be no words just slurps.


For this recipe you will need:

French Onion Bagel Soup

Serves 4

2 lbs small-medium yellow sweet onions
2 tablespoons butter
1 glug extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white flour
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 cup extra dry Vermouth or any dry white wine of your preference.
1 generous splash of Sherry Vinegar
3-4 generous dashes Worcestershire sauce
4 cups Beef Broth sodium free* I like to use sodium free if store boughten.
2 dry bay leafs
1 sprig of thyme
1 teaspoon kosher Salt or Salt de Fume to give an extra layer of flavor.
4-6 cranks of fresh Black Pepper

Top with:

2 Pumpernickel bagels cut in half . Sliver the closed end on each half to expose the grain of the bagel, and toast.
I choose Pumpernickle Ian choose Onion! any flavor that rocks your boat will work.

2-3 oz per person of Gruyère cheese shredded.
Buy the real deal, the imported one. I used a Swiss brand with a lot of earthy and nutty notes, it melted beautifully leaving a great crust. Go the extra mile its worth it. If you do not care for Gruyère, try some French variations like Comté or Beauford.

Preparation Method:

1.One of the most important things to remember when making onion soup its how to cut the onions.”Cut the onions in segments”. Against all french techniques on how to cut an onion, remove top and bottom, cut in half-length wise peel the outside coarse layer, then flat surface down facing the board, and slice lengthwise radially like thin orange segments about 1/4″inch or little less. See photo below. This step for me its crucial to make sure you don’t have onion mush as they caramelize and cook. Each segment stays soft and creamy with out disintegrating while soup its simmering away. I also like it this way so you don’t have long stringy slippery onion strings. Chose small to medium size onions, they are sweeter and friendlier on your spoon when eating.

2. Chop the onions, following the instructions above.

3.Bring to a medium heat a cast iron enamel pot, add butter and a glug of extra virgin olive oil. Add the sliced onions making sure to separate all the segments with your fingers. Toss carefully, lower the heat to medium slow, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir now and then.
4. Remove lid and stir; crank up the heat to medium high to evaporate most of the moisture, cook for 3-4 minutes stirring now and then to avoid onions from burning. You want to caramelize them. To help them caramelize add a tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar at this stage, and cook for another 5 minutes or until they look soft, and have develop their sweetness and they have a deep golden brown color.
5.Once the onions are caramelized, evenly sprinkle one tablespoon of flour and toss for 2 minutes scraping the bottom of the pan.
6. Add the Dry Vermouth the sherry vinegar, toss and let the alcohol evaporate.
7. Add the beef broth little by little stir constantly. Then, add Worcestershire sauce, aromatic dry herbs, salt and pepper.
8. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until the onions taste and look soft and they have absorbed the flavors from the broth. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.

9. Once soup its ready, divide the soup into 4 oven safe soup bowls. I used this special onion soup bowls with handles. It will be around 3 ladles of soup per bowl. Place the soup bowls into a baking sheet tray with a lip,(to avoid soup spillage in your oven. This will also make it easier to place the soups in and out of the oven.) French-Onion-Bagel-Soup_Ready-to-serve!

10. Then place half a toasted bagel into each bowl and top each with 2-3 ounces of the shredded Gruyère cheese. Crack some black pepper and place under the oven broiler for 3-4 minutes until cheese is melted and its crusty and golden brown. Watch at all times they can burn on a blink of an eye! Pull the tray out of the oven and place the bowls on an under plate before serving. Warn your guests for HOT bowls and extra hot soup.

French-Onion-Bagel-Soup_Toasted-bagel French-Onion-Bagel-Soup_Gruyere-cheese-cheezee-it-up!French-Onion-Bagel-Soup_Soup-for-2-or-4French-Onion-Bagel-Soup_Soup-for-2-or-4_Yes,-more-please!French-Onion-Bagel-Soup_Mmmm_Yes,-more-please!

French Onion Bagel Soup

Our Texas dream night winterland … Enjoy!

Music Pairing: Yann Tiersen – La Veillée

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Wednesday Grilled Cheese Sandwich


A grilled cheese sandwich with a side of green salad, this is my love letter to the grilled cheese sandwich.
Sautéed Mushrooms, caramelized onions, and rich fragrant cheese in between two slices of toasted buttery bread; this is my kind of togetherness and solidarity. This is the one that hump day screams for. Let’s stick the whole week together with melted cheese plus mushrooms and onions and make our Wednesday memorable. After all it is certain that the small things in life give happiness and comfort. Wednesday Grilled Cheese Sandwiches like this have one mission , to turn any humpy or lumpy day into a little happy memory. Enjoy.


Wednesday Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices of artisanal, rustic bread
1/4 pound of Challerhocker Swiss cheese. (Gouda, Swiss, Emmental will work fantastic as well)
8-10 Cremini Mushrooms wiped with a damp clean towel and sliced. 
1 small medium yellow onion 1/4 “thick sliced
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter for sauté
1/4 cup or 2 glugs of any leftover white wine. no white wine…chicken stock will work…
2-4 dashes of Sherry Vinegar.
Salt and Black Pepper to taste.



Manchego Butter Spread:

2 tablespoons of 1 year aged Manchego cheese, grated.
4 tablespoons butter softened

1. In a little bowl combine this two ingredients until you have a spreadable consistency.

What I love the most a bout this sandwich? the Manchego Butter Spread, once the sandwich hit the pan, this spread makes the most utterly croquant and buttery grilled cheese, you ever had… I suggest you can make any substitutions on the inside of the sandwich, but this spread is irreplaceable.



1. Over medium heat on a sautee pan add olive oil, 2 tablespoons of butter, sliced onions, salt pepper and a pinch of turbinado sugar. sweet the onions until translucent and they start to get some golden edges and color. At this point add the sliced mushrooms and sautee for about 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms start to get some color too. about 6-7 minutes.
2. By now the bottom of your pan is starting to show some crusty brown bits. The onions and mushrooms are soft and golden brown caramelized color, Away fro the stove add two good splashes of white wine, and 2-4 dashes of the sherry vinegar, and a fresh sprig of thyme. Bring back the pan to the stove and wait until the liquids reduce. Set aside.

Wednesday-Grilled-cheese-sandwich-caramelized-onions-and-cremini-mushrooms 3. Evenly spread one side of each of the bread slices with the Manchego-butter spread.
4. On the no spread side, place a layer of thinly sliced or grated Challerhocker cheese, then a layer of the caramelized onions and mushrooms, and top with more cheese. Cover with the other bread lid, butter spread side up.

Wednesday-Grilled-Cheese-Sandwich_Yes,-more-please! 5. On a medium heat warm up a non-stick pan, cast iron pan or plancha. Once is hot, place both of your sandwiches and grill for about 4 minutes each side, until mahogany golden brown, and the cheese is melted.

Wednesday-Grilled-cheese-sandwich_-on-the-pan 6. Remove from pan into a cutting board and slice in half.
7. Toss some baby spinach and salad greens with a bit of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, serve your sandwich on the side.



Always remember to eat your greens!

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