Sep 21, 2008

Creamy Onion Soup

Filed under: Lunch,Appetizers,soups,Recipes,soup — Tags: , , , , , — Kay @ 7:36 pm

‘Tis the season! There’s a chill in the air! Feel it? In my kitchen that means soup time. I’m afraid my soup section is going to be shamefully packed over the next few weeks. Completely addicted to the liquid loveliness. Especially hearty and rich autumn soups.

Nothing beats sitting down with a fragrant, steaming bowl of hot soup after a long autumn walk in the woods or on the beach. The simple things in life really are the best. Recently I’ve discovered that soup can be delightfully creamy without having one drop of cream in it. Yes, it really can! This is a remarkable bowl of soup – it’s brimming with flavor and so velvety it’s hard to believe it contains little to no fattening ingredients.

The secret ingredient in my soup is simply potato. Really, that’s all. The entire soup derives its creaminess from just one potato. Believe me when I say it works beautifully!


2 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions
1 tsp dried thyme
3 cups beef broth
1 potato


2 slices white bread (stale)
grated cheese
1 tbsp oil


Start by coarsely chopping the onions and potatoes. Make sure you use a starchy potato. Surprisingly enough I didn’t even have to cry this time, usually my mascara ends up somewhere on my chin. My hands look kinda alien in these shots, though.


My latest ‘new find‘. Isn’t it a looker? It’s a light/diet (liquid) butter for baking and stir-frying. Tried it for the first time and am sold. It works like a charm. Tastes like regular butter but without all the fat.


I’ve used 1 tbsp (light) butter and 1 tbsp olive oil but (unless you’re in the Netherlands) you can use 2 tbsp oil. Add the onions, diced potato and 1 tsp dried thyme. Give it a good stir, lower your heat, pop the lid on and let the onions smother for 10 minutes.


Cut 2 (stale) white bread slices in cubes and crumble them. No need to be fussy about it, you’re gonna put them under the grill (or in the oven) and they’re easier to crumble after they’re baked.


I went for basil, but you can use pretty much any herb. Sage or flat parsley also work very well. You can either chop it by hand or get lazy like me – I used my mini food processor, added 1 tbsp olive oil and pulsated several times.

Saw some (commercial) collage/blog board actions for photoshop online -it was something I never even thought of- got all excited over them until I saw just how much they charged for them. Whew. Figured I could easily make them myself (and save myself quite some money in the process). As it turns out, I was right. Creating identical photoshop actions was literally child’s play, so I’m afraid you’re gonna have to look at my collages for the next decade or so. Sorry. It’s just so easy to put several ‘steps’ into one photo. Less clutter.

Back to the soup! After several minutes, give the onions and potatoes a quick stir and put the lid back on.


Preheat your oven/grill to 400 (200c) and add your basil to the bread crumbs. Spike with a royal amount of pepper and a little salt.


The onions will be done by now, so pour in the beef broth. You can season afterwards (which is always safer) but I added 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt at this stage, which turned out to be the perfect amount of salt and added a good pinch of pepper. Boil the soup for 5 to 10 minutes.


Transfer the bread crumbs to an oven dish and sprinkle (a royal amount) grated cheese on top. As long as it’s not melting cheese, anything goes. It’s tastier with aged cheese, though. The cheese will get all crunchy, and will have that deep flavor that goes so well with the soup. Put in a hot oven for about 5 minutes (keep an eye on them) shuffle them and give them a few more minutes until crunchy and golden brown. As soon as they come out of the oven, crumble them a bit more.


See, there they are again! What comes after a triptych? A fourtych? I honestly don’t know. Anyway, using a blender, rod mixer or food processor, turn the soup into a smooth, silky substance. What a difference one potato can make, isn’t it?


Serve in a bowl, sprinkle the croutons on top and garnish with a little extra basil. Is this creamy or what?

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    1. 1

      So glad I found your site. Your recipes are fantastic and your photography is outstanding. One of the better blogs I’ve seen so far. Thanks for sharing.

      Jade on Sep 21, 2008 @ 10:28 pm Reply
    2. 2

      This is really interesting. I’d bet that the potato tastes better than the cream too, but that could just be me :)

      Fearless Kitchen on Sep 22, 2008 @ 4:32 pm Reply
    3. 3

      Fearless Kitchen:

      I think it does. I have to admit that I’m not fond of cream in my soup anyway, even though I really like rich and ‘creamy’ soups. It just makes it so heavy and greasy .

      Kay on Sep 22, 2008 @ 4:36 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Oh my god, that looks amazing. I LOVE creamy soup.

      Michelle on Sep 22, 2008 @ 9:07 pm Reply
    5. 5

      This is the perfect soup for me: I love pureed soups and love onions even more!

      caviar and codfish on Sep 23, 2008 @ 2:26 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Hello- I found you blog on stumbeupon. I love your photos and was taken with the butter post. I have been to Gouda and loved it there. Another village I loved was Delft. I used to live in Germany and got to the Netherlands often. I look forward to reading some more of your blog.

      Robin Sue on Sep 24, 2008 @ 4:22 am Reply
    7. 7

      Robin Sue,

      Glad to hear you like it! Did you eat some cheese here as well? I was so surprised when I tasted Gouda cheese in the US, it wasn’t the real deal, so to speak.

      Kay on Sep 29, 2008 @ 7:36 pm Reply
    8. 8

      I love your site! Great photography and yummy-sounding recipes:) I am going to try this recipe tonight for dinner. How many servings would you say it made?

      Lisha on Oct 3, 2008 @ 3:16 pm Reply
    9. 9


      I used pretty big bowls, it depends on the way you want to serve it, as an appetizer this easily serves 4 and if you’re going for a huge bowl of this for lunch, I’d say it serves 2 people.

      Kay on Oct 3, 2008 @ 3:25 pm Reply
    10. 10

      Cool! I’ve been looking far and wide for someone else that focuses on low fat and healthy foods! I do the same, come over and take a look at my blog at I still need to learn to take pictures like you, whoa, they are great! How did you learn to do that?

      Dana Zia on Oct 18, 2008 @ 7:53 am Reply
    11. 11

      Hi Dana,

      I really, really want a bite of that strawberry mousse cake :)

      I made my camera a permanent extension of my arm, so to speak. Just keep shooitng everything and eventually it goes automatically. Especially food photography is fun and challenging for me.

      Kay on Oct 18, 2008 @ 8:48 am Reply
    12. 12

      That soup looks good with those croutons!

      Kevin on Oct 18, 2008 @ 6:27 pm Reply
    13. 13

      Healthy?! Low-fat?! Cream of Onion?! Hellooo Nurse! This looks too good to be true – and your photos are so beautiful! You’ve got some great talent going on over here.

      sweetbird on Oct 19, 2008 @ 6:02 am Reply
    14. 14

      I am, for sure and certain, going to try this soup. I am a soupaholic. I just made a fantastic beef and barley on the weekend. Anything with onions though is a must have. I MUST have onions…and garlic. But onions I can barely go a day without. I will add onions and garlic to almost anything, even if it doesn’t call for it. My family thinks I am a bit obessed. I just say life is better with onions.
      What I was going to say, before I lost my way, is that I am a recent adventurous cook, having following recipes for years. I still collect recipes compulsively, but now I will change things I don’t like and add things I shouldn’t (like onions). One of the recipe founts I followed is Everyday Cooking magazine (from Martha Stewarts kitchens). A couple of years ago they had a whole slew of creamy soups that only had one little potato added. I was so happy to have them I ate them like crazy for a while. The mushroom was my absolute favourite. I was stunned that it was so amazingly creamy and good. However, I did not know you could do it with onions so you are my new kitchen guru. :) Thanks!

      Kait on Nov 17, 2008 @ 7:53 pm Reply
    15. 15

      The soup looks real yummy!

      Your photos are real good and instructions are clear.

      Reina on Nov 8, 2009 @ 8:31 am Reply
    16. 16

      I made this soup the other day. I needed a light dinner so I left out the croutons and just made the very simple soup. It was great comfort food, just what I needed. Thanks for the recipe!

      Jules on Apr 16, 2010 @ 3:47 pm Reply
    17. 17

      what are the nutritional facts for this creamy onion soup. do you have the breakdown. i can hardly wait to go get ths ingredients. thanks!

      deaniles on Oct 27, 2012 @ 5:53 pm Reply

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