Eat Well, Spend Less: Seasonal Soups (Recipe: French Onion Soup)

How is it mid October already? Oh, right, first there was our jump into October Unprocessed, then Thanksgiving, and just last weekend, Blissdom Canada in Toronto. The month tends to fly by when one is busy.

After four days of conference snacking, hotel food, road food (we drove home from Toronto), and yes, missed meals, I am so ready for some seasonal comfort food and for me that spells S-O-U-P. Another reason to add soup to the weekly menu plan is because the food budget is hurting a little after two high-end (but oh-so-memorable) dinners out at Pangaea and Luma with dear food blogging friends over the weekend.

Yes, it’s time to bring out the Le Creuset French Oven, hit up the market for those incredibly cheap root vegetables, onions, and late-harvest tomatoes and simmer some soup.

Here is a round-up of a few of my favorite recipes, as well as my family recipe for French Onion Soup with a Canadian twist!

Photo by Shaina

Seasonal, Budget-Friendly Soups

This is just a start of all the beautiful soups that can be made with the bountiful produce that can be found at this time of the year. You’re sure to find a recipe that the whole family will love. A bonus? All of these soups freeze very well, so go ahead and make a double batch.

butternut squash soup recipePhoto by Katie

~For more weekly menu plans, visit Org Junkie.~

Recipe: French Onion Soup – Canadian Style

In this version of French Onion Soup, the sweetness of the onions is enhanced slightly by maple syrup and the soup is given an extra Canadian touch with the addition of our own aged cheddar cheese.

French onion soup should not be rushed. Well, the onion chopping part, yes. Use a food processor or blitz through them with a knife as fast as you can while still maintaining five digits on each hand. But once they are in the pot, brew a pot of tea and read a cookbook or food blog while the onions slowly caramelize and take on that dark brown color.

This soup makes a generous batch, but the onion soup base freezes well, making for a delightful Sunday supper sometime in the future. Also, if you’re not pregnant and have an opened bottle of white wine around, this soup benefits from a generous splash or two added with the stock.


French Onion Soup
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Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 8
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3.5 lbs sweet onions such as Vidalia, thinly sliced, about four large
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock (I had Thanksgiving leftovers)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 small sprig rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Garnish
  • 8 slices whole wheat baguette, toasted and buttered
  • 2 cups shredded aged Canadian cheddar, such as Perron (or your favorite melting cheese)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot set over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until they have completely wilted and start to caramelize.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook onions slowly, stirring occasionally for another 20 minutes.
  3. Add garlic to the onions and cook for a minute or so. Stir in maple syrup. Add the broth, water, thyme and rosemary; bring soup to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve:
  1. Preheat top broiler in the oven.
  2. Divide soup between 6 large or 8 smaller ovenproof bowls or ramekins. Top with toasted baguette slices and cover generously with cheese.
  3. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese melts and lightly browns. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme and serve.

This month on our Eat Well, Spend Less series we’re talking about making the most of fall foods. Check out what the other ladies are cooking up!

Frugal Fall Snacks for Hungry Kids :: Life as Mom

Hearty Breakfasts for Cold Mornings :: Food for My Family

Holiday 2011 Grocery Sales & Predictions :: Denver Bargains

Ten Things to Do With Apples :: Kitchen Stewardship

How to Save on Thanksgiving :: Kingdom First Mom

Favorite Fall Recipes :: Good Life Eats

Enjoying Fall’s Bounty of Pumpkins and Squashes :: Tammy’s Recipes

 

What is your favorite soup to simmer on an autumn day?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. LOVE FOS! I want to make it soon and I keep seeing recipes pop up. I’m taking it as a sign!
    Blog is the New Black’s last post: Fudgy Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

  2. yum! that french onion soup looks amazing!
    Heather’s last post: trees and fruit

  3. We’re totally on the same page. This is exactly what I made for dinner last night, and I used aged cheddar as well!

  4. I am totally trying this one. We love French Onion Soup! It’s my youngest child’s favorite, believe it or not
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.’s last post: Lightened Up Chicken Tetrazzini

  5. It is fine to add wine to soup stock if you are pregnant. The alcohol will boil off in cooking.

  6. Bookmarked this one. I love French onion soup. I always get it when I have soup out because I don’t know how to make it at home. There’s a bean soup that I like to make come Fall, but really I like to make all of my soups when it’s cold… :)

  7. I love French Onion soup. It is the perfect fall/winter soup. And I agree soup is such a frugal, filling, and usually healthy meal.
    Lynn’s last post: Menu Plan {October 16th-22nd}

  8. Great list!

  9. I’ve been on a soup making kick lately. Last week cream of mushroom and what I think I have to call mirapoix soup…carrots, onion and celery. Ok maybe with just a touch of serrano pepper!

    I love French onion soup and have a great recipe I’ve used for years but I’m intrigued by the maple syrup. I just happen to have a bottle of Canadian maple syrup…it seems most appropriate for me to make this soup with it!
    Barbara | Creative Culinary’s last post: Smoked Baby Back Ribs with Espresso Barbecue Sauce and a #Giveaway

  10. Your French Onion Soup looks amazing. My favorite soup is Broccoli Cheese.
    Heather’s last post: Menu Plan Monday

  11. Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) says:

    French Onion Soup is defintely one of my favorite soups. However, if I’m considering the rest of the family, we like our simple homemade tomato soup (recipe is on my blog). Since we live south, tomato season lasts well into fall, and the flavor of this soup is well worth the extra 10 minutes of preparation compared to the canned version.
    Steph (The Cheapskate Cook)’s last post: Whole Grain Millet Muffins

  12. I L.O.V.E Soup! especially trying & creating new recipes! mmmmmm soup. yum.
    Shannon’s last post: My Canoe Head is Home!

  13. The recipe looks great.
    joy’s last post: Marx foods Mystery Box

  14. Jen@mamaZEN says:

    Lovely pictures! They all make me hungry :)
    Found you on Mpm
    Jen@mamaZEN’s last post: Menu Plan Monday: October 17, 2011

  15. Wow this looks so incredibly good and perfect for this chilly Ohio day. Nothing like that thick layer of cheese!
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction’s last post: Holiday Recipe Exchange | Slow Cooker Apple Butter

  16. Love it! I am so hungry, waiting on hubby to get home. This soup has got my stomach growling, will have to try your recipe!
    Bernice
    Successful Woman’s Resource Center’s last post: Teaching kids to do their share around the house

  17. Hey! I really like soups but only recently tried onion soup (which it turns out I love) but my family is not big on soup at all. The husband is a “texture” picky eater… and although I’ve gotten him to add many a food to his regular menu (and favorites)… soup is not one of them. Any suggestions for good “starter soups” that won’t scare him away?
    PS. I made the squash/apple soup for thanksgiving and everyone (except the husband – who didn’t try it) loved it.
    Andrea’s last post: …and a half…

  18. I love French onion soup! I’ve been so in the mood for soup lately too. I made acorn squash soup the other week and it was amazing. I love fall!
    Tracy’s last post: Pumpkin Spice Scones

  19. It’s not quite cool enough for soup here in Los Angeles, but these sound great.
    Deena@StayAtHomeFOODIE’s last post: Ugg… It’s Tuesday

  20. We (well, my husband under my instruction ;))made this soup today, and we absolutely loved it! It was even better that we could have lots of leftovers for freezing. We may go a little easy on maple syrup next time, as ours seemed very sweet!!! Thanks heaps for the recipe!

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