Feb 5, 2009

Cheesy Onion Soup

Sometimes I really need a splurge meal. I guess we all do every now and then. Now in stead of heading over to Mc Donalds to stuff myself with a 5000 calorie burger (I like to exaggerate every now and then), I prefer whipping something up myself. This soup is a remnant of my low carbing days, that I still like to eat every now and then. With this inveterate predilection for onions, cheese and chives, it just doesn’t get any better than this for me.


2 large onions
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp flour
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp coarse mustard
5 oz cheese

Optional: 5 oz ham


* You’ll need a food processor, blender or immersion blender for this recipe.

Coarsely chop your onions and grate the garlic. No need to be fussy about it, the onions will be mashed later on.

Heat some butter and sautee your onions and garlic for 5 minutes.

Fix yourself 4 cups of chicken broth in the mean time. Fixin’ something. I love how Texans use that phrase, it always makes me smile to hear someone say “I’m fixin’ to ….’.

Add 2 tbsp flour to the onions, give it a good stir and cook for a minute to neutralize the rawness of the flour. There’s just no pride in photographing onions in a Dutch oven, really! It all looks so bleek. But it’s the flavor that matters!

Pour in the chicken broth.

I don’t cook with alcohol when my son eats along—I know the alcohol mainly vaporizes but still, I’m very strict with that. Now he doesn’t like soup at all, so I’m in the clear. When I ask him if he wants some soup, his usual answer is: “No, I want a cookie“. Funny enough ‘cookie‘, was his first word.

If he had his way he’d be living on these! This is actually a Dutch product so I have no clue why they felt compelled to print that in English. It doesn’t make sense to me. They’re good, though! But I digress ….

Since the munchkin won’t be eating it, I’m spiking the soup with 1/2 a cup of white wine. Cooking with wine really gives food added flavor! I’ve used a regular house wine—slightly sweet and really fresh. Pour it in with the broth, put the lid on and simmer the soup, over low heat, for 20 minutes.

I’ve bought a thick slice of ham (5 oz) and chopped it in small pieces. You can also chop up a few deli ham slices. It really doesn’t matter, it’s about the ham adding a great flavor to the soup! If you want to make this a vegetarian soup, just omit the ham and go for vegetable broth or plain salted water.

I thought I was being smart and bought pre cut cheese cubes. They were way too big so I still ended up chopping them. Go figure.

Chives are so fragrant and crunchy. They definitely add character to the soup. I’ve grabbed, washed and chopped a good handful.

Take the onions out after 20 minutes. Unless you’ll use an immersion blender, of course, then you want to leave them in. Otherwise spoon them out or sieve the soup. Transfer the onions to a blender or food processor and add a few tbsp cooking liquid. I’m using the mini chopper that came with my immersion blender.

Now it doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you turn those onions into a smooth puree and pour them back in with the broth.

Pour in 1/3 cup of heavy cream. This will be more than enough to add creaminess without overdoing it and making it really heavy and greasy. That’s my biggest beef with most creamy soups; they overdo the cream thing.

Season the soup. I went for 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp coarse mustard and I gave everything a stir.

Now bring the soup to a boil, turn the heat off and stir in the ham and cheese. I prefer bigger pieces of cheese because the outside will melt a little while the inside stays firm. But you can cut them smaller or even grate the cheese, making it blend in with the soup entirely. I’ve used an aged Gouda cheese, but don’t I always!

Sprinkle the soup with a generous amount of chives, and serve it with crispy fresh bread on the side. It makes for 2 pretty big or 4 moderate portions.

Please note that this is a very rich soup! You’ll want to eat this for dinner or lunch because it’s way too rich to be a starter. Another thing; I can’t be held accountable for failed New Years weightloss resolutions :)

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    1. 1

      Much better than a burger – I will be adding the ham!

      Ann from Montana on Feb 5, 2009 @ 11:38 am Reply
    2. 2

      Oh, this looks delicious! Just what I’m in the mood for today with this cold grey weather!

      Alison on Feb 5, 2009 @ 11:45 am Reply
    3. 3

      I think it’s a global thing, Alison. It’s looking pretty ominous here as well. Contemplating a big pot of split pea soup!

      Kay on Feb 5, 2009 @ 11:47 am Reply
    4. 4

      Oh MY! This looks delish, I can’t wait to try it.

      Lizzybee on Feb 5, 2009 @ 2:57 pm Reply
    5. 5

      OMG this looks so incredible and your timing for this killer soup is great as we are finally getting some rain here in Southern California so comfort food will be flowing in this house!!!

      PS – just put up more pictures of “my therapist”

      Cathy on Feb 5, 2009 @ 5:20 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Kay – yummm this looks wonderful. I wonder since the cream amount is so small if I can use fat free 1/2 and 1/2. I’ve been trying that since my hubby got a bad cholesterol report a month ago and it works pretty well. Now what to do about the ham and butter….i don’t know! Looks yummy!

      KatieJ on Feb 5, 2009 @ 5:25 pm Reply
    7. 7

      I did make the soup this afternoon — and I’ve had a small bowl already, just for testing purposes. ;) I used some creme fraiche instead of the cream, since I had it on hand already and have used it in soups in the past. It’s a wonderful soup! I’ll definitely be making this again and again. Thanks for sharing it!

      Alison on Feb 5, 2009 @ 5:31 pm Reply
    8. 8

      Katiej, I usually grab whatever I have on hand! I’ll often make it with a few tbsp sour cream, or even eat it without cream.

      Kay on Feb 5, 2009 @ 7:46 pm Reply
    9. 9

      What could be better than cheese and onions except a soup with these! Your recipes always “wow” me. This looks and sounds very similar to Outbacks creamy onion soup which I love.

      Sheila on Feb 5, 2009 @ 9:21 pm Reply
    10. 10

      Actually, a food that is simmered with alcohol stirred in, like this one, retains 35% of the alcohol. The whole idea of “it cooks out” was blown away by the University of Idaho, Washington State University, and the US Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory several years ago.

      Their study came up with:
      * alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat – 85% alcohol retained
      * alcohol flamed – 75% alcohol retained
      * no heat, stored overnight – 70% alcohol retained
      * baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture – 45% alcohol retained
      * baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:
      o 15 minutes 40% alcohol retained
      o 30 minutes 35% alcohol retained
      o 1 hour 25% alcohol retained
      o 1.5 hours 20% alcohol retained
      o 2 hours 10% alcohol retained
      o 2.5 hours 5% alcohol retained

      I don’t cook with alcohol as I am a recovering alcoholic. I find substitutes.

      CJ :) on Feb 5, 2009 @ 11:15 pm Reply
    11. 11

      OMG, this soup sounds so good and rich and delicious!

      Karen on Feb 6, 2009 @ 12:36 am Reply
    12. 12

      Thanks CJ, this is pretty useful information!

      Kay on Feb 6, 2009 @ 8:25 am Reply
    13. 13

      A bit random but I got one of those Punselie’s biscuits on a flight once…and it was SO delicious!

      Su-Lin on Feb 7, 2009 @ 1:46 am Reply
    14. 14

      I’m not a big fan of ham in soups. I think I will try this but with bacon instead.

      Lindsay on Feb 19, 2009 @ 6:03 pm Reply
    15. 15

      Unlike “Lindsay”, if that even IS her real name, I am a big fan of ham in soups. Tried this tonight and everything turned out quite well, even though I had to sub chives with just humble, old parsley.

      Gerrit -- a ham fan on Jun 17, 2009 @ 5:12 am Reply
    16. 16

      Im gunna try this tonight I think. I too am a big fan of ham in soups

      Pat Guillory on Jan 17, 2010 @ 8:45 pm Reply
    17. 17

      Hi Kay,

      thanks for posting all the scrummy recipes. I am collecting your soup recipes in a word document as we speak!
      Felt compelled to reply as I looove punselie biscuits. They are from Gouda. KLM serves (still? don’t know really, haven’t flown with them for a while) them on board which is the reason why they may have gone international. It would be great if we could export them as one of our many great Dutch products wouldn’t it?
      I am based in hot and sunny Hong Kong!   

      linda on Sep 21, 2012 @ 4:34 am Reply

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